I paint to celebrate daily life, to illuminate the ordinary, to shape the day.
My work is a distillation of my experience. I am continually inspired by what is right in front of me. I take a morning row in the cove, and see the light reflected on the boats in the harbor. Figures gliding through a museum add depth and meaning to cherished works of art. Old books stacked in a corner suggest memories of time spent turning their pages.
In the Maine paintings, the beach provides a new landscape, every hour of every day. Low tide, mid tide, high tide, the water dances with each wave, creating its own choreography. Always changing, always new, with endless opportunity for discovery.
I often work in a series, creating a narrative. My Mother’s Last Purse began with images of the purse itself, found in a closet. Then I painted her checkbook, her wallet, comb and chap stick. The seemingly insignificant things we carry contain the stuff of life. When it’s over, there they are, reminders of the person who was so central to our lives.
This theme continues in The Things We Save. These paintings of simple cherished possessions, like Granny’s Crystal Vase, celebrate the memory of people and occasions that have vanished from view. The objects remind us of fleeting moments we might have shared. The past lives on in us, the next generation. Nothing is lost.
The Window Series grew out of my fascination with what we see when walking past a house, or passing by a room with an open window, with its curtain blowing in the breeze. These fragments of information paint a picture of the lives lived within.
I go to the museum to see people seeing art. In the studio, I recreate the experience, capturing the spirit of a favorite artwork in relation to its surroundings. Figures breaking into the frame of a painting, or slowly gliding past, enliven the art experience for me, in the same way that an artwork in one’s house is part of one’s daily life. The museum paintings are small, intimate, stolen moments in which art imitates life, and life imitates art.
Daily painting is at the heart of my practice. I work small and fast, as though creating intimate entries in a diary. Fleeting moments are recreated, illuminated and commemorated. I know the painting is finished when it starts to glow.
I am inspired by Morandi, who re-imagined the same vessels in his studio over the years. I admire how Maira Kalman captures the essential in her random objects, and how Lois Dodd has spent a lifetime creating art highlighting the world around her.
The essence of my own experience is recreated every day. My blog, A Little Painting Every Day, includes new work and new thoughts. The words that accompany the paintings add another layer to the day’s experience, offering small revelations gleaned from the acts of living, seeing, and painting.
Susan Landor Keegin has been creating art for over 40 years. From day one, she was schooled in the art of seeing and expressing herself visually by her artist parents. “I was given the tools and encouragement to experiment, and was taught to embrace failure as a part of learning.” Developing the habit of drawing was like learning a language for her: the more you practice, the more you know. At the age of 11 she began to use a Rolleicord camera to develop and hone her visual skills.
Susan went on to study art, and received a B.A. in Art from Antioch College. In her early career she was a photographer and graphic designer, working with international clients in her father’s dynamic design company. She then developed her own line of greeting cards. In 2001 she returned to her interest in fine art, and has been painting full time ever since.
The paintings have evolved from her initial interest in recreating reality to an increasingly personal expression. “I am continually inspired by what is right in front of me,” she says. Her subjects include landscapes and seascapes in both Northern California and Maine, where she spends the summer. Her contemporary still lifes feature ordinary objects seen with fresh eyes: old books stacked in a corner, figures gliding through a museum, the contents of her Mother’s last purse. These latter paintings work in a series, and form a narrative about the subjects that give meaning to her life.
Susan’s work has been exhibited at the Bolinas Museum and the Monterey Museum in California, and the Penobscot Marine Museum in Maine. Her paintings have been included in numerous national juried exhibitions with the Still Point Art Gallery in Brunswick, Maine. She was awarded Best in Show—Portfolio in their Interiors exhibition. Susan has also had solo shows at the Islesford Dock Gallery in Maine and with the Mill Valley Arts Commission in Mill Valley, CA. She is represented by Isleford Dock Gallery in Maine.
• City Streets, 94109, Make It Work, Delicious, Group Exhibitions, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• Landscapes by Day - Landscapes by Night, National Juried Exhibition, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, ME
• Tiny, Group Exhibition, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• Bolinas Museum Mini Show, Bolinas, CA(also in 2008-2011)
• Ordinary Everyday Objects, National Juried Exhibition, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, ME
(My Mother’s Purse published in the Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring Issue)
• Annual Juried Exhibition, Falkirk Cultural Center, San Rafael, CA
• Tiny, Group Exhibition, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• Still Point V, National Juried Exhibition, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, ME
(Daybreak published in Still Point Arts Quarterly, Spring Issue)
• Interiors, (Portfolio Award) National Juried Exhibition, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, ME
• Bolinas Museum Mini Show, Bolinas, CA (also in 2008-2011)
• Art Cards, Group Show, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA
• Out of Print, Solo Exhibition, Mill Valley Library, Mill Valley, CA
• Tiny, Group Exhibition, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA (also in 2007-2010)
• Monterey Museum Miniature Show, Monterey, CA
• Solo Exhibition, Islesford Dock Gallery, Islesford, ME
• Solo Exhibition, Cranberry Island Library, Islesford, ME
• Solo Exhibition, Small Shed Flatbread, Mill Valley, CA
• Solo Exhibition, Thompson Hall Gallery, Sausalito, CA
• Out of the Woods, Solo Exhibition, At the Top Salon & Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
• Ebb & Flow” (Honorable Mention), Sausalito Arts Commission , Sausalito, CA
• Solo Exhibition, Mill Valley Art Commission, Mill Valley, CA
• Going with the Grain, Magpie Gallery, San Francisco, CA
• The Art of Lobstering, National Juried Show curated by Carl Little, Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME
• Realism 2004, National Juried Show, Artisan’s Art Gallery, Mill Valley, CA
• Woman Art, Sausalito Art Festival, Sausalito, CA
Gallery Representation & Honors
• Islesford Dock Gallery, Islesford, ME
• Award for Best in Show—Portfolio, Still Point Art Gallery, Brunswick, ME (2013)
• Juror, Mill Valley Milley Awards (2011)
• Reviewer, Marin Arts Council Artist Grants (2008)
• B.A. in Art, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH