The Poetry of Shapes: Susan Melrath

29 Jun

“Rich colors draw me in, patterns guide me through, and flat, poetic shapes allow me to rest.”  — Susan Melrath

It is just these rich colors and flat, poetic shapes that drew me in to Susan Melrath’s work.  Susan takes complex forms like flowers, architecture and figures and condenses them to their most basic shapes.

Crimson Kiss, acrylic on canvas, 36×36

By doing so, the viewer becomes more drawn in by the emotionality brought to the surface through her use of vibrant color applied to the forms, rather than by the subjects themselves.


Cafe, acrylic on paper, 11×19 framed

Though I love ALL of Susan’s work, it is her Garden series that speaks something to my soul.  Perhaps it is how I am amazed by the flora to be found here in the Northwest.  ( Wildflowers!! )

Out of the Blue, acrylic on paper, 22×22 framed

She takes what could be a mundane subject and with the use of pattern and color creates something extraordinary.  It’s a little bit Pop-Art, a little bit Fauvist, kind of Cubist without the hard edges ( Cone-ist? ).The flowers seem to be underwater, floating in a happy haze of pattern.  Or maybe it’s drizzly rain?  We ARE in the Northwest..Sometimes it seems that we are seeing the flower’s shadow, rather than the plant itself, looking through the shadow to the play of patterns and light beyond.  Which makes the work groovily mysterious.

Moonflower, acrylic on canvas, 24×24

Susan created a floral series called “Bloom” for a recent Art & Sustainability show at the Sightline Institute in Seattle, integrating technology and traditional painting, posting a mobile tag by each painting providing more insight and information about each work of art.  You can see the progress of one of these works and hear Susan speaking about the work here.  And because I always personally find these things to be so much darn fun, here’s a time-lapse video of Susan completing a painting.  What’s up next for Susan after her technology driven show?  Unplugged, artwork created during a one-week period in which artists went without TV, internet, social media and texting.  Because great art is always about finding balance.

Be sure to check out Susan Melrath’s website to see more of her work and learn more about the artist.

6 Responses to “The Poetry of Shapes: Susan Melrath”

  1. healingandliving June 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    OMG! Just stumbled upon your blog through tagsurfing, and I completely love this! Thank you for sharing it!

    • Lesley June 29, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

      Thanks, Cara! So glad you liked Susan’s work. Hope you stop by again!

  2. Ken Hamilton June 29, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    That Art is colorful and different, I like it.

  3. Susan June 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Thank you so much, Lesley – I love your words. Hope we have a chance to meet when you’re in Seattle.

  4. Becky July 5, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Lesley, thanks so much for blogging about Susan and her show at Sightline, as well as commenting on my Art & Sustainability blog. I hope you got to see her work in person as well!

    • Lesley July 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

      Thanks, Becky! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it up to Seattle to see the show in person. Before I knew it, the show was in its last week and I just ran out of time! Looking forward to seeing what you’re doing next though!

Share your artsy thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: