Welcome, and the story of ‘Emerald’

Emerald in Crate & Barrel

Hello! And welcome to my first post. I would like to introduce you to ‘Emerald’. ‘Emerald’ is the very essence of my mission as an abstract expressionist painter.  This painting came about as I got to know my surroundings on a deeper level in Southern California.  ‘Mornings in May’ is one of the first versions of this piece.  I hike around a lot with my sketchbook, outdoor easel and in this case a 24 x 48-inch canvas.  The spot that I painted from is relatively easy to get to its just navigating it with all of my “stuff”!  The view nonetheless is what dreams are made of.  I still have to pinch myself and say, “Damn I live here.”

San Diego bluff

The view from the bluff where I painted ‘Emerald’

I live 10 miles inland directly from the ocean.  Being able to see a bit of the ocean that unfortunately gets bigger and bigger as developers clear land away, I can see the marine layer in the morning.  Some evenings, when it rolls inland as far as my house and further has inspired other paintings … ‘Friday Night Lights’ for one.

Emerald inspiration

The view from my home which inspired ‘Emerald’

I have always loved colour, colour theory and just looking at the landscape in bands of colour (especially easy when not wearing my glasses).  My journey with Colour Field painters began when I walked into the Mark Rothko Exhibit on view at the National Gallery of Art the summer of 1998.  I am sure there were other occurrences that came about, as I grew up watching my dad paint.  The sheer joy he experienced painting and all the years he just made things, beautiful things, shocking things he took a lot of heat for—there was a dining room set that he made without power tools!  He didn’t care what anyone had to say about it either he loved to create.  As I write this I think, wow—the ability to drown out all the criticism and keep on creating, and on his own terms.  As I get off topic here, I always had a preconceived notion of what art was.  My art garnered a lot attention early on because of my ability to draw what I was looking at.  When I started to experiment with confidence and true passion is when I started to learn who I was as an Artist and forging my own path making the kind of art that I wanted to make.

‘Emerald’ is a celebration of all that I love here in California, all that I love about my process, all that I love about colour and applying layers and layers of washes standing back and saying—”that’s it!  Done!”. My process is not tortured or wrought with self-doubt because it’s not perfect.  A joyous celebration of simplicity, not too much to think about, just a nice place to rest the eyes when one needs to.  A lovely way to add colour to a room, bring some coastal vibes to a landlocked view or perhaps extend the vast horizon that inspires so much of my work!

Please enjoy a bit of my process with these photos and sketches from the spot where I painted ‘Emerald’ from out at Torrey Pines.

Stay tuned as I share more of my process, growth as an Artist, art events, happenings and exhibits,  lots of art projects and DIY for ArtFULL living.  Thanks so much for stopping by let me know what you think!

Susan Stone