ARTIST: SUSAN MW CARTWRIGHT
Since retiring from full-time employment in 2012, Susan has been able to devote more time to pursuing her studies at the Ottawa School of Art, currently in printmaking. In addition, Susan paints in acrylics and watercolours. She also enjoys working with wood, fibre and textiles, and integrates crafts such as rug hooking, sewing, felting, carving, photography and papermaking. The natural environment, including the plants, birds and animals she observes around her, and her love of colour, inspire her art. She is an inveterate recycler of diverse objects, looking for ways to give beautiful things another life in our increasingly disposable world.
These prints reflect some of the printing techniques I am learning in printmaking, which I began a year ago: relief printing using lino and wood cuts, chine collé, dry point etching, monoprints, and metal plate etching, including with aquatint, and multi viscosity inks. Each new technique and material offers an opportunity for adventure and experiment.
I am most often inspired by the natural world around me, in the Ottawa Valley and elsewhere in the world where I have lived and travelled. The birds, insects, reptiles and animals that inhabit different landscapes, in all seasons, fascinate me. Nature offers me an endless opportunity to explore colour, texture, proportion, shape, light and balance.
Sometimes, I am inspired by the built environment, especially the importance of line and light, where elements can change in appearance when taken out of the context in which we usually observe them.
As I work to develop my proficiency as an artist, I am most grateful for the way it has taught me to observe more rigorously and see and appreciate so much more in my surroundings.