My One Person Exhibit at Gallery North Star

by Susan Abbott
"Portal", 28" x 40", oil on linen

"Portal", 28" x 40", oil on linen

My one person exhibit "In Season" will be up at Gallery North Star in Grafton, VT until November 5th, 2018. You can see the exhibit online here. Here are my thoughts about this "in Season" series:

"I moved to Vermont almost twenty years ago for the most impractical of reasons, love at first sight. Driving through a small town in the southern part of the state, in the early morning, on my way to somewhere else, I caught a glimpse of a stream running through the backyard of an old clapboard cape. Suddenly I was back in my childhood, in a time before the creeks in my own town were culverted and the yards subdivided. The Vermont I saw from a car window looked like a memory of home, and I was hooked.

Two decades later, I’m still attracted to what I see here and on my frequent travels to downeast Maine: a work-a-day patchwork of small towns, dirt roads, village greens, barn yards and back fields. Looking carefully at these ordinary places, landscape and memory intersect for me. While I paint, the abstraction of color, light, and shape combine with subject to compose a mood and a meaning.

In these landscapes, the mood may be melancholy, the meaning ambiguous. Both mood and meaning in my landscapes—images of old houses, old farms, old towns, old trucks–have to do with age and time. Like many Vermonters, I value the old. Even when a barn has outlived its purpose, we respect its venerable presence and want to see it endure.

The Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi” has helped me understand why I find these old, ordinary, and sometimes broken-down places so beautiful. Wabi-sabi embraces the aged, the imperfect, the modest, the subjective, the natural, the seasonal, the private, the mysterious. In Vermont and Maine, I find wabi-sabi everywhere I look. In my painting, I find beauty in the ordinary, and try to hold on to the changing, the disappearing, the memory, and the first glimpse."

"Road and Farm, Sunrise", 31" x 36", oil on linen

"Road and Farm, Sunrise", 31" x 36", oil on linen

Paintings from my new "Camino" series included in "Wildlands" Exhibit

by Susan Abbott

Two of my "Camino" paintings are featured in the current "Wildlands" exhibit in Springfield, VT's Great Hall.

"In the 19th Century American landscape painters gave people a glimpse into the magic of wild places and long before the days of film they helped spur the public call for preservation of wilderness rather than exploitation for resources.

WILDLANDS, a new exhibition opening on October 12 at the Great Hall, 100 River Street in Springfield, VT, celebrates our public lands and national parks, and the beauty and experiences we enjoy in our publicly owned wild spaces. The show’s intention is to put a spotlight on preservation and how societies come to value and live in balance with natural resources in a time of climate change, development and political stresses that threaten our wild places."

The exhibition runs through March 30, 2018.



Camino Walk

by Susan Abbott

The spring of 2016 I had the good fortune to walk the Camino, a 500 mile pilgrimage route across the top of Spain. I came home inspired by all that I'd seen and experienced. I'm working on a series of paintings now based on my time on the Camino. They'll be included in a upcoming book about my journey through Spain, which will include watercolors, writingand sketches.

New Commission

by Susan Abbott

I'm honored to be in the collection of the Mayo Clinic with an eight painting commission based on my studies from the Johnson Farm.

Eyes on the Land Project

by Susan Abbott

I was honored this year to be included in the Eyes on the Land project sponsored by the Shelburne Museum and Vermont Land Trust. Artists were paired with farms and forests conserved by the VLT, and I painted for a year up in the wetlands of the Northeast Kingdom.
You can view my short slide talk about my project here and an ebook here.

My Blog Post for the PCT Association

by Susan Abbott

"Oregon on the PCT", watercolor, 9" x 15"

The Pacific Crest Trail Association blog asked me to write a guest post about what it was like to collaborate with my son Colin Arisman on his film about his 2,600 mile hike from Mexico to Canada. I painted seven watercolor landscapes that appear in "Only the Essential".

You can read my post about his adventure--and my adventure vicariously following his 5 month walk--here!


Paris Time

by Susan Abbott

"Seine towards Musee D'Orsay", 12" x 12", oil on linen.

I'm leaving today for three weeks in Paris, where I'll be painting and teaching a sketchbook and art history workshop. I'm looking forward to exploring Paris with my students, and seeing the Seine again!

Savvy Painters Audio Interview

by Susan Abbott

Savvy Painters website interviewed me for a free-wheeling conversation on the challenges and rewards of a painter's life, including those difficult years after art school, finding your artistic voice, and the challenges of being a painter's spouse. Take a listen here!