Susi Schuele is a self-taught abstract artist. Raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, she now lives in the Town of Lisbon, Wisconsin with her husband, Chuck and their two very spoiled dogs and studio mates, Stardust and Hanna.
Susi has been creating in some way since she was a child. She is self-taught, beginning with acrylic paint and drawing. She has been creating abstract art with colorful stains on wood since approximately 2015.
Susi has attained her technical abilities from studying the works of artists she admires, such as O’Keeffe, Van Gogh and Monet. She is always experimenting with tools and mediums to achieve her desired effect.
“Creating colorful art on wood has refocused my perspective toward the lighter, happier, positive side of each new day. And…I have seen the same effect on people when they view my art work! Their wide smiles reach their eyes. Their expressions as they realize that each of my signature pieces are stain on wood and not paint is always a powerful, joyful reaction, both to them and to me.”
Schuele was nominated for the “People’s Choice” award in the ArtisTTable 2017 Women’s Exhibition online. She a member of many art communities and associations, including the League of Milwaukee Artists among others. She has been represented by the Gallery of Wisconsin Art (GOWA) in West Bend, Wisconsin since 2017 and Woodland Studios in Stoughton, Wisconsin since 2018. She has exhibited at prestigious exhibitions for abstract and contemporary art at GOWA and was featured in the One of a Kind Spring Art Show Fine Art Gallery in Chicago, IL in 2018 and 2019.
Words cannot describe my art. Emotions tell a bigger story. I tell my stories through vivid color inspired by all forms of nature, my imagination and music. My “Second Touch” from God has arrived and my lifetime desire to create and “be myself” is fulfilled.
I like to create art with a magnetic appeal. Art that draws you in. It says “Come closer. Tell me what you see. Tell me how you feel. I want to be what you need me to be.” Visual inspiration is a beautiful garden bursting in Spring, breathtaking sunsets glowing with orange, the subtle but sublime metallic golds and coppers in Raku pottery, the magnificent Rainbow Eucalyptus tree or the beaming contrast and glitter of colorful elements of nature such as geodes. When creating on various wood panels, the grain of the wood is oftentimes perfect inspiration alone.
Abstract brings my world and your world together by allowing each individual to see and feel their own story. From a primary emotion of a color-infused visual to secondary emotions evoked by “hearing” the music or remembering the lyrics from the piece’s carefully researched song title, this art will connect you to the experience of a memory in another time in your head and heart each time you view it. I achieve incredible depth in my work and bring a little more of my soul into each painting by titling them with song. My love of music is only surpassed by my love of art. As a result, my paintings evoke a powerful emotional effect on viewers from every sense. Joy, curiosity, maybe even dark.
My art is unique because I am currently the only artist in the country creating fine art on wood with colored stains. Most always, I use only my hands, but on occasion I work with a brush for detail and include other mediums such as alcohol ink in my work.
I remember planting seeds as a child, kneeling in the earth; the wonder of that experience has been with me all my life. That a speck of a seed, given soil, water and light, could become a beautiful flower, was an event too marvelous to comprehend. My response to this miracle of nature and of life was, and is, wonder, anticipation, joy and ultimately, reverence. This is what I try to express and celebrate in my art.
In my painting I attempt to reflect intimately my impressions of living things or the parts of living things that metaphorically suggest the whole in celebration of being.
Others of my paintings are about seeds. The seeds represent existence before being. I saw them in my mind’s eye and wanted to put their potential in a mysterious yet nurturing and allowing environment.
There are two other variations in my latest work. One takes the form of elongated organic “cone” shapes. The cone is open at one end and may be viewed with the wide part either up or down, suggesting the unity of birth and death, beginning and ending and beginning again…..
The other theme I call “duo”. These forms are two halves of a whole. They are opposing yet complementary – one could not exist without the other. My experience is that our lives are dichotomous. There is our inner world which we share as spiritual beings and there is the outer world which we learn about and must live in – the eternal and the temporal experiences. To unite the two experiences, to allow them to sing in harmony, if you will, is to generate light, love and compassion.
If the viewer can sense something familiar, something elemental and reassuring finally, in contemplating the images I suggest, then I think my work has some worth.
I use the softest, finest quality pastels available and soft cotton paper which accepts and absorbs multi-layers of color. My fingers are my brushes.
I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. During my 31 year career in art education with Milwaukee Public Schools and UW-Milwaukee I explored many different media with my students.
My work has been exhibited in Wisconsin and in the San Francisco Bay Area and may be found in private collections throughout the country.
In my most recent work I am employing acrylic paint, brushing this medium on canvases from small to large. Occasionally I choose watercolor on paper for its freedom and transparency.
However, that which compels me to express does not change. My paintings continue to be my response to the natural world, every component of which is alive, constantly rhythmically and harmoniously moving and changing in response to some mysterious consciousness of the unity of life.
The subject of much of my latest work is landscape, various places at different moments during all seasons.
I can only attempt to describe what my paintings are about; ultimately, they must speak for themselves.
The last we saw of Atticus Finch, when the Oscar winning performance of Gregory Peck’s film followed the release of the novel, he was sitting in the corner of injured son Jem’s bedroom, the warm arms of his cardigan sweater wrapping and re-wrapping around the clinging figure of his daughter Scout, the three of them recovering from a painful experience of racism, hatred, and violence, and the often lonely cost of standing against it.
I have a feeling that many of us, both on the stage and in the audience, whether fans of the book or film or both, join Scout and her older self Jean Louise in waiting to see Atticus again.
The play strikes a chord for me as I had a very Atticus-like father, a dead ringer in both looks and mannerisms and as I grew into an adult and journalist, I had the opportunity to see lawyers and judges in action at the county courthouse in Virginia. And just as I still get that experience today covering trials today in rural Wisconsin, I also have witnessed the conflicts of race and prejudice all too recently near us in Milwaukee and through the nation.
Like Scout at the start of the play we wait for Atticus to return from the courthouse. Like Jean Louise at the end we look back through the window, and through the decades, wishing we could go back to him, to speak to him and finish the lessons. Lessons of putting ourselves in others shoes, and realizing that even as we rail against what isn’t right, we are not alone as others quietly do the uncomfortable business of protecting Mockingbirds be they a Tom Robinson or a Boo Radley.
I suspect those of us who were graced with a great father miss him; and those of us who didn’t miss and yearn for such an experience.
Fortunately Christopher Sergel’s play gives us that opportunity in an up-close and live setting not to be missed. It’s been said that in some ways To Kill A Mockingbird is a love letter from novelist Harper Lee to her father. Of the several Sergel versions of the play that exist, the one being performed at Waukesha Civic Theatre comes closest to depicting that moment, and lifetime of reaching out to Atticus.
It’s a safe bet you’ll feel him reaching back and holding you safe.
Written by Jim McClure, who plays Judge Taylor in To Kill A Mockingbird at the Waukesha Civic Theatre