Susan Williams new work, Singing Water (opening August 15, 2018), deepens her exploration of imaginary impressions alongside elelents of realism. Painted on sheets of transparent acetate, the work reflects her pursuit of beauty, demons, dreams and love floating above and below the plastic surface of each layer. As her work evolves – quietly, evanescently – Williams strives to remain true to her artistic ambition, which is to paint illusions. Working intuitively, with her hand conneted to her heart, she has discovered that the more personal the process becomes, the more pathways she can open to express momnets of life that are felt but not observed.
Williams is known for her imagined landscapes—dreamy, interior descendantsof romantic landscapes in a style recognizably her own. Her paintings representhoughts and memories that brush up against distractions: an island, a tree, a rock,painted on a canvas of her own private stories, narratives, and daydreams. “The overallimpression,” wrote one admirer, “is that of a tone poem—as if Whistler ran into CormacMcCarthy.”
In a recent interview, Williams describes her process:
“Honestly, I’m best off when I follow instinct and emotion,” she says, “when I leave
behind the clutter, chatter, and academics. And I treat the surface as if it were a person,
a child, an alter-ego: Yes, it needs to be caressed and loved by sable brushes, but it
also needs to be shredded, torn apart with razor blades. From this, a personality or
narrative takes shape.”
For Williams, that raw vulnerability allows her to flourish.
As her work evolves—quietly, evanescently—Williams stays true to herself and her
vision, something that is not always easy to accomplish. It is far easier to say, “I must
change,” or “I must try something completely new.” It is harder, in many ways, to stay
Williams has had significant exhibitions in New York and Maine; juried and group
shows; success with numerous collections, including an acquisition of a group of
paintings by McKinsey & Co and Goldman Sachs & Co; and solo exhibitions at the
Gerald Peters Gallery in New York City. She is represented by the Caldbeck Gallery in
Rockland, Maine and Downing-Yudain in Stamford, Connecticutt. She has worked with
various art consultants, including Bea Medinger, Lily Downing, and Heather Hearst. Her work has also appeared in numerous blogs and
A New York City native, Williams has a B.A. in Art History and Visual Art from Bowdoin
College (cum laude). She is the mother of two grown children, Margaret and George,
and lives in Rockport, Maine with her husband, Rufus, and their perfect dog, Olli.