Abstract Painter (mixed media)
Susan Greenbaum was a dorm parent in a private boarding school in Illinois for five years after college, being the “parent” to 16 boys in grades 5 and 6, then girls in grades 1-6. She had her own three children during that time so there was no time to do the painting she loved. After teaching for 25 years, Susan finally got the chance to resign from a profession she loved but that kept her very busy being the dedicated parent and teacher she wanted to be. Susan married an orthodontist in 1994 who has been extremely supportive of her painting. He does a meticulous job of putting her frames together. It is guaranteed they will always be straight! Since about 2000 Susan has been working primarily in water media and going back to her “roots” in expressive, experimental abstract painting. She typically has no idea what she is going to paint when she begins. She picks some colors that appeal to her, frequently turn up the music, and just begin. Sometimes it gets pretty messy in Susan’s Springcreek studio in Lake Oswego, and it is then that she knows she is really into what she’s doing.
I take workshops with the nation’s top abstract teachers, read and study the works of other artists I admire, and then just let myself loose to have a good time with the paint. I love how painting this way represents so much of how life seems to work. You plan, something changes, you respond to the change. Maybe you like what you did, you do more of it, or you do something else that messes everything up you have already done, etc., etc. It is a conversation you are always having with your canvas, or paper. It is tremendously exciting to come up (either intentionally or by joyous accident) with some serendipitous area that makes the painting sing. That is what you hope to have happen when you paint this way. If the design and color and shapes, etc., all are in agreement with good principles then you may have created something that others will see and respond to. The painting is really fun to do, but I LOVE to know that someone has seen a painting and enjoys experiencing it. You don’t need to understand this kind of work, just feel something from it and I know I have done it right.