Susan Cook

As an artist, an invitation to exhibit at SCIART was long hoped for.  However, contrary to what I always imagined would be a celebrated event, my unimaginable reaction was fear and even, the unthinkable, distrust in my own work.  I had recently suffered a traumatic loss that forever altered the course of my life.  In that heartbreaking darkness, I knew that I had to make a choice.  I chose to honor what was and dare to create a future, one that included the gift of art. 

 The paintings exhibited in Celebrate Life visually document my search for peace.  At the outset, all I knew was that I would not be able to hide from myself and that the paintings would tell a story that words cannot.  I did not understand the ripples of change until later when I could see it for myself.  What started out dark and alone has gradually filled with light.  This process gave me a vehicle and an unmatched perspective to measure my healing and to celebrate the goodness that has been shown me by legions.  

 When I commence a painting, the final work is secreted even from me.  During the entire process, I respond to unexpected combinations of color and shape and the interplay between background and foreground.   I have been deeply touched by the analogy between the artistic process, facing challenges presented in life and ultimately healing.   It calls to mind the words of an anonymous poet, who wrote "The Future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating.  The paths to it are not found but made and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination".   This opportunity was a gift of a lifetime, and it has lead me through the darkness to a place that is worth Celebrating Life.  

Celebrating Life

Studio Channel Islands Art Center

Camarillo

2011