Sunday, July 17, 2016

Getting Through The Ugliness

 I use my sketchbook to loosen up, to store my jangled emotions.

From the sketchbook today:

 ©2016 SusanEmilieSiefer,  Jingle, Jangle

This is a trying time.  What does the future hold for any of us, those we love, the next generations, my granddaughters for gods sake. I retreat. I retreat into my studio to do what gives me joy, a freedom that I hold for now. A freedom that many do not have. I know that. I am an art agoraopbic, a term that has turned into a trend. I think because it feels so uncontrollable out there in the world. As artists, we are lucky. We can retreat and still be socially acceptable. I have this conversation with some of my artist friends.

As the politics become so divisive, it seems so do social groups. I try to be bigger than my studio practice. I can be social and charming and talk small talk. I can be empathetic. I remain calm, usually. I laugh. I engage. Yet, the horror. Nice. Dallas. Baton Rouge. All in 1 week. An uncurious, egomaniac and his ultra conservative sidekick may be our next presidential ticket. This is the best we can do?

How do we deal? I go into my studio and do what I know, with love. I hope with all my heart that you too have your love and let it guide you through this challenging time. The world will be a better place for it.

Most of my work goes through an ugly stage, where I want to quit, cry, give in. But I persevere and at some point find the beauty. Maybe this is an allegory for the realities of today.

To have a look at my larger work, please go to my portfolio:
 Follow me on instatgram: @susansiefer_art


Monday, October 5, 2015

"Rising Strong" and other titles

 I laughed when I looked at my bedside table: (plus a dose of Rumi on my ipad)

It has been 8 months since my last blog. How is it possible that my life has changed so much since that time? Since about the time of that blog, my mother was declining rapidly (at 98) and all of my energy both emotionally and physically went into as I call it "the long goodbye". She declined, she rallied, she declined, she rallied until her body just could not fight any longer. She passed away on April 27, just about a month short of her 99th birthday. She has left a void. In the meantime, I sold my condo of 20+ years and moved out of a community I never really embraced. 
By a good amount of serendipity and good luck, I found a loft apartment close to Boston, close to my son and family, close to fabulous restaurants and a thriving artist community. Being right on the Charles River, I have kayaked 3 times a week during the summer. It was my solace in many ways. It has even creeped in and out of some paintings, those boats. 

Now I am off to Morocco one more time come this Friday. And when I return, I have my beautiful granddaughter Marley's Bat Mitzvah to celebrate. After October, who knows? I think I"m on to new, gentler paths...

I would love to hear your story of loss and renewal and starting over. Please share.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Beginnings and Endings and In Betweens. Painting Progression

The blizzards have afforded the opportunity to get some work done. Painting takes its own journey.


gold leaf, stencils

gold leaf, texture

stencils, gold leaf, goldthread

 "PLEASE, COME IN"  ©39"x58", © Susan Siefer 2015

Materials and products used: 
Acrylic plaster, watercolor pencils, quartz stone plaster, charcoal, dry pigments (from Marrakech), acrylic, gold leaf, gold lurex thread(from weaving days),stencils mostly from rds, water bottle, hands, trowels,more or less.

Thoughts: need to loosen up, need to have control, need to not think, need to make intelligent decisions,I should be doing something else, mindless, frustration, joy, who will buy this,how will I work in my new loft, who will see this, but mostly this is the place I need to be. I have no choice.

Thanks for looking. Come into my blog anytime. How do you progress in your creative work? Comments welcome.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Returning from Marrakech


Hi all,I'm back from Morocco. This trip was beyond all expectations.

First off, this is a testimonial filled with gratitude to Melanie Royals. This woman is amazing. Melanie has built a successful international stencil and design company from scratch. She has built it on hard work and integrity and yet remains one of the kindest, giving women I've ever met. Beautiful inside and out. She has helped endless numbers of decorative painters/artists improve and enhance their skills and businesses by creating products and workshops that are incomparable. And if that isn't enough, she is able to organize and lead a trip of 10 women with different talents and lifestyles and ages for work and play and adventure without a lot of drama and a whole lot of fun. 
Working up the courage to finally take this trip with Melanie(she has lead at least 6 groups!) and her band of talented women started with my dream of going at least 4 years ago. The colors, patterns and architecture of North Africa has somehow been a presence in my work for the past few years. The decision to go at this time is one I will never regret. Besides some great goodies and wonderful memories, I brought home with me the inspiration and impetus to continue in some new, exciting directions. Thank you Melanie!

Our first day:

I love the parts of Morocco that we visited, from the luxe of Peacock Pavillions:

 to our final stay in the middle of Marrakesh and the Medina and our hours (and hours) spent in the Souks:

Art galleries and magnificent blue and yellow gardens:

Artwork by Lalla Essaydi, Galerie Tindouf, Marrakesh

Yves St.Laurent Gardens , Marrakesh

Stenciling projects and jump rope with the beautiful village girls:

Even goats in a tree:

Parties and dinners(with belly dancers):

And of course getting to know and work and play with the 9 other luckies of Melanie's band of talented painters seemed so natural: We all spoke the same language of the love of paint and process.

Yes, I worked!:

Our last night: 

I cannot wait to go back. Melanie is running another trip in November. I would be on that plane if I could. But I think there may be another one next year...hmmmm.

I will be writing shortly on the connection between one of our projects at Peacock Pavillions and my DIY event coming up at West Elm Wayside. Stay tuned!

Sigh. Thanks for looking. 

To all of our happy trails,



Monday, April 21, 2014

Contemplating Marrakach

In 12 days I am off to Morocco. It seemed so far away 6 months ago when I registered for this dream trip with Melanie Royals, the queen of just about everything, and a group of nine other artists.

I have one more job to finish before I leave which is painting the base of a kitchen island for a local designer. Of course, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint© to the rescue. Where else to buy it but at Maison Decor, home of the fabulous Amy Chalmers. Surprise. She now carries Royal Design Stencils and of course how can I leave without buying this:

I had just the piece finish up:

In Progress, "Circles", 2014 ©Susan Siefer

Finishing up :

Just about finished, ready for mounting:

New Title: "Circles: Contemplating Marrakach", 2013, ©Susan Siefer

Materials used (on canvas): venetian plaster, quartzstone, metallics,  tints, acrylic paint, gold leaf, tamise leaf, stencils, wax

This blog is more about connections than anything. I am always blown away at how small our creative community really is when we start connecting the dots. I am SO looking forward to expanding that circle come May 3rd.

Thank you all!!

Check out my portfolio page for recent studio work:

Follow me on Instagram during the trip!