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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Moving In Delight and Harmony

Can you recall the sheer pleasure of childhood, the unrestrained joyous creativity mingled with a sense of mischief." If 'YES' is the answer, you will understand the foundation of Scottsdale artist Suzie Black's inspiration. Even the paint has a personality that celebrates lack of restraint and the absence of self-consciousness. The loose brushstrokes and energetic palette knife work are brought into tow by the strength of her design. The story of this artist reflects the enormous scope of those around her and the endless dance of community.

No surprise, this gutsy "out there" artist grew up in an 18-room' old mansion' on a busy street of Newark, New Jersey, just minutes from Manhattan. A daughter of a successful interior designer and painter, Black was used to looking at color, design, interiors, and canvases that challenged the edge on current comfort levels. Conversations about art with her mother were part of Black's earliest memories. Finally, when she was a senior in high school, she found herself "home alone" and made the bold move into her mother's studio. With brushes in hand and oils spread out on a palette, she went to work on her first canvas. A star was born…Black presented her painting as her final project for a senior humanities class. The work was met with enthusiasm that her parents hung it in their home for the next 30 years as Suzie Black launched her art career.

"My expansion is here and now in the form of larger works. I search for mysterious subject matter to lead the viewer into the painting."

After high school, Black was off to George Washington University and the Corcoran School of Art. She received advanced degrees in both Art Therapy and Art Education. Her artistic heroes became the likes of van Gogh, Schiele, Diebenkorn, Matisse, and Gauguin. Black grew fascinated by art therapy and the psychology behind expressing emotions and telling the stories of our "hidden selves" through art. This grew into a 40-year adventure in the exploration of color and form. When asked how she sees herself expanding, Black replies, "My expansion is here and now in the form of larger works. I search for mysterious subject matter to lead the viewer into the painting." I also introduce figures in my work that are not quite realistic. Think in terms of abstract expressionism." This is part of Black's ongoing fascination with psychology and the subconscious of the human experience. She thinks in terms of "looking for my wild child and giving her the gift of calm."

Black is also part of the "study process" as a teacher. She creates from her "artist loft," located in her home studio in Scottsdale. Black frequently shows her work in live venues such as Thunderbird Artists shows and Hidden in the Hill, sponsored by the Sonoran Arts League. Her work was the cover art for "Vortex" magazine, and she received a National Endowment of the Arts grant this past summer at Yeiser Gallery in Paducah, KY. Black teaches art classes and workshops at Terravita in North Scottsdale. Suzie Black creates and teachers painting classes from her home studio.


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