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.

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