Susan FileneI paint to help me see and to share my wonder at what I see with others. I begin by noticing something that causes me to say to myself, "I have to paint that." After the decisions of size and medium, I begin to paint and I see in a way that is very different from the initial impression. It may be the detail of the center of a flower or the light on a face. This practice of really looking while painting has resulted in my increased visual awareness of everything around me every day. I feel very lucky to have had that happen.
With both oil and watercolor I prefer to paint small--between 4 x 6 inches and 9 x 12 inches. Once the background and largest shapes are in I really enjoy the detail work, clothing patters for example, with small sable brushes. Painting small pictures has also served me well with sales. The pictures are affordable and, on the island of St. Croix where I spend some of the winter, gallery buyers can take their art home in their suitcases.
I like using bright colors. Phthalos are particular favorites. In watercolor I have evolved to using transparent paints almost exclusively and am working toward that in oils as well. I like how the transparent paint looks on the paper or canvas and I enjoy the challenge of mixing from a limited palette.
My next project will be a series called "Gather at the River", paintings of all the events and celebrations that we hold at, on or near the Charles River in Cambridge.
More of Susan Filene's work
Susan Filene, "Dancing Mocko Jumbies"-oil on canvas 9" x 11"