Artist Lecture by Susan Stephenson

image
Endless Summer by Susan Stephenson

Susan Stephenson
BFA, Studio, Louisiana Tech University
MFA, Boston University

In this age of unprecedented visual abundance, artists may sift through hundreds of im-ages in making a work of art; yet Susan Stephenson remains a steadfast oil painter, working almost exclusively from direct observation.  Her paintings of sun-drenched landscapes and windswept buildings reflect her abiding interest in color as well as an appreciation of the strange interplay found in everyday life - between things that are uni-versally seen as lovely and those either overlooked or seen as odd: something she calls Kooky-Beautiful.   

Torn between lovely places that appeal to everyone and locations that her peers might think un-paintable, Stephenson finds inspiration in traffic lights and stop signs, in the way sunlight hits the “do not pass” lines in the road.  In the interest of capturing a loca-tion’s wraparound view, her use of curvilinear perspective has become so natural that it now creeps into all of her work, even the less deeply-spatial works she paints at home. 

A native of Louisiana, Stephenson began her serious landscape practice after moving to Rhode Island, once she completed the Visiting Artist Program at The Griffis Art Center in New London.  She has been teaching at Lyme for the past twenty years and is a full-time Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing.  For nine years, she was the Chair of the Foundation Program and currently runs the Painting Program. 

image
Corner of East and Granite by Susan Stephenson