Linda Susak

landscape artist


Artist Statement

Human inventions can never equal the inherent beauty of nature, especially the Western landscape with its infinite, expansive views that refresh the soul.  My paintings of landscapes and isolated, abandoned and ancient sites are derived from photographs, yet seek to capture the historical, spiritual, almost mystical layers beneath the photograph of the actual site.  Albert Einstein’s proponed fourth dimension of time informs my work, in that I sense all the peoples and events who inhabited a specific space at some time in the past.  In my work, I add that layer of meaning to the site through color and personal interpretation.

When on site in a natural historic setting, such as the cliff dwelling of Betatakin, I imagine all the people who lived there at the ancient site and the events that occurred there.  Likewise, when happening upon an abandoned pet cemetery from the 30s to 50s, the lovingly wrought gravestones of family pets intimate the place pets played in the families’ lives.  Then, walking through a remote Southern Colorado landscape, with no man-made buildings to be seen, I find an arrowhead and realize how the site looked hundreds of years ago.  My work captures the spiritual essence of such places by visually documenting the site on canvas.  I paint in an expressionistic manner with a rich, saturated use of local color.  The juxtaposition of specific colors, as explained by Wassily Kandinsky in Über das Geistige in der Kunst (Concerning the Spiritual in Art), has a psychological effect on the soul and creates an intense aesthetic experience.  I am especially fascinated by the interplay of light, shadow and reflection on objects and the shapes they create.  Visual images are broken down into organic and geometric shapes, and colors are abstracted and enhanced to engage the image further.  The delicate change of color from one shape to another defines it and creates volume, as well as providing aesthetics for the eye.  My line work is expressive and organic and coincides with the dynamic quality of the scenes painted.

Nature is not static:  below the photographic image of a scene lies a wealth of historical references, suggested color and line, and the spiritual presence of the beings which once occupied the space.  My personal interpretation of the scenes I paint awaken one to reevaluate and reassess the physical site and, as Kandinsky has explained, “produce a corresponding spiritual vibration . . . it is only a step towards the spiritual vibration that the elementary physical impression is of importance.”  My images of a natural setting evoke the healing effect of the scene on the psyche, combined with the pure pleasure derived from color.  There is much more to the image than meets the eye.