Susan Fitch Brown, Artist

Pandemic painting

The corona virus pandemic hit suddenly, very suddenly, in the middle of the schedule of a gouache class I was taking because I’ve always wondered if I’d like that media - and I did.  The blue cloth painting was just that, an exercise in painting drapery.  I found an old shiny fabric from the ‘60’s and hung it on a nail in my studio.  The second, “After Tea, Ready to Paint”, was also just that; an old coffee cup from a set i found at an estate sale in the ’80s, a mandarin orange, a napkin and napkin ring from an enormous amount of stuff my husband inherited from his mother and a paintbrush that seemed to fit.  The third is my pandemic bouquet.  I bought it a couple of days before class from a local florist instead of the grocery store, my usual source for flowers.  When I told the florist the purpose of the bouquet, for an art class, she put together a bunch of extras, threw in a rose and charged me much less than I would have paid at the grocery store.  The next day the class was cancelled, the pandemic had begun.  I painted the bouquet anyway.

Now I’m in the Master Artist Program (MAP) taught by Glen Kessler at the Compass Atelier in Rockville, MD.  It’s a 3 year program and right now we are working on some basics, form, value, edges.  It’s tough but I’m learning a lot.  Thanks mostly to this class I now have a small studio of my own with lights, an easel, a trestle table I use for still life work and a comfortable chair I can use to study an artwork, attend zoom meetings or write blog posts.  At present I’m still getting used to it.

2020 Show at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting Gallery

My show, Gratitude Practice: Praisemaking, is now at the new gallery at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting.  The Gallery is open on the weekends but I’d be glad to open it at other times for anyone who wants to see it. (See my contact page) There are 24 works on view from 1988 to the present as well as prints.  Many people talk about “being in the zone” when they are painting or doing something they really care about.  For those with a religious faith that “zone” feels inspired by something more than self.  So to me my work is a way of giving praise for what I see, for what has been given for me to see.  Most of the time it is for something beautiful, sometimes for lessons learned.  Above is my invitation and below are three works from the show, “Old Stable Off River Road”, 2019 was done on site (plein air), “Rooftops from Mom’s Dining Room” was from a photo.  I was intrigued by the complicated mix of roofs, trees and mountains.   The last one,  “Dog Dog” 2019, started as a copy of a photo but quickly morphed into its own being.  

Sandy Spring Museum Show 2019

“Before the Storm” is in the 2019 Olney Art Association show at the Sandy Spring Museum.  It was also in a show at the Montpelier Art Center in Montpelier, VA.  I was drawn to the image by the sudden color of the trucks in the station in the woods along Highway 5 in CA.  As it happened a storm came up as we were traveling north and it hit just as we got to Lake Shasta.  

Using Format