Light is cast across an evening garden scene making pink, yellow, and green hues dance across the foliage and flowers. This is a scene often depicted by artist Susan Mink Colclough whose work is characterized by her interpretation of light.
A native of southwest Virginia, Susan Mink Colclough now resides in the Tennessee Valley of the Smokey Mountains and is published by Arts Uniq', Inc. of Cookeville, TN. At her mountain home, she enjoys creating stories through her paintings. Using her own photographs of a scene she wants to paint aids her in capturing the interesting shadows created by morning and afternoon light.
"I work both from memory (experience) and photos, incorporating various themes. My favorite subject matter includes gardens, children and women in long dresses," she comments. "The most important ingredient in my work is the incorporation of light and how it is used in reflections and shadows. I am a 'painter of light', as is any good artist."
"I want to draw the viewer first, to my painting, second, into the painting, and have enough mystery about it that they will go away trying to finish it," continues Colclough. "To me, that is what art is - not just 'pretty illustrations'."
Adding what she wishes was there to her interpretation of what actually is there helps her to develop romance, solitude and peace in her favorite themes of fantasy gardens and landscapes.
Susan enjoys studio painting as well as on site, and early morning is 'the best'. "My painting sessions are a source of total joy for me, so the anticipation of spending 8-10 hours in the studio is enough stimulation for my creativity." Her love for outdoors certainly contributes to the themes of her work, but she attributes her inspiration to God. She says that through painting, she is able to give witness to others as to how wonderful God really is.
Another great influence in her painting was the late Dick Turner of Houston, Texas. "He was a fabulous teacher and artist, who helped create the foundation for what I do." states Ms. Colclough. Although she paints mainly in oils and some watercolor, re-discovering the encaustic method (ancient) of heated beeswax and pure pigment, has currently caught her attention.
Ms. Colclough's art is licensed for various products including a tapestry done from her piece 'French Door', a CD cover using 'Nocturne', note cards bearing 'Catch the Sun', and most recently Multnoma Publishing is using 24 of Ms. Colclough's images for 3 books written by author Alice Grey.
Other activities of Ms. Colclough's include teaching an "at-your-own-pace" art class of seven adults and performing as a concert pianist. she feels that her love of music and the fostering of that creative talent has enhanced her ability to create on canvas.