Susan Davitti Darling is the next artist in our Meet Our Members interview series. Susan lives in Maytown PA and is employed by Elizabethtown College. She is an avid watercolor, mixed media and collage artist. We always enjoy Susan’s fun, bright, whimsical and extraordinary art work!
Read on to find out more about Susan’s work and studio life:
What initially sparked your interest in ART?
My father was a professional photographer and he encouraged me to take
photographs. I had access to cameras and a makeshift darkroom. When I was in
High School, I attended a Saturday morning drawing classes at Rhode Island
School of Design. Art is so much fun and I liked all of it, from batik and block
printing, to collage and painting. I earned a college degree in art as an adult, at
Millersville University. I feel very fortunate that I had that opportunity.
Where does your creative nature come from?
My creative nature comes from curiosity. I like to try things and see how things
work and how they look.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from all over the place. If I don’t feel inspired on a
particular day, I still work. To Quote Hank Aaron, “Always keep swinging.
Whether you are in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the
only thing to do is keep swinging.” Art keeps me going. It makes me happy.
As an artist we have many roles; which do you find to be the most rewarding and which the most challenging for you?
The hardest part of being an artist is the business part. Excel spreadsheets can
put me into a trance. What I love the MOST about being an artist is the actual
work/play of creation.
What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about sharing what I know with other people. I love to encourage
others to follow their heart into art. Art is good for you! I don’t care if you ever
went to art class or college, art is a birthright. As human beings we have a
creative nature and it is good to access that.
How do you begin a piece?
Beginning a painting is a very random act for me. I work intuitively and I start out
with getting rid of the blank canvas in a big way. Sometimes I will draw on the
white canvas and paint over the drawn lines, creating what I call a history to my
background. My work is abstract in nature, so I let the shifting color harmony and
line work speak for me.
What is your favorite color? And do you use it often in your work?
My favorite color right now is purple. That can change. I have been known to be
enamored with orange, periwinkle and blue gray. Color is very important in my
work, whether it is subdued or vibrant. It speaks volumes.
What dream supply would you purchase if money were no issue?
My dream supply would be a flat file. I have NO room for such an item. I would
like a place to store large paper and finished unframed artwork.
What message do you want to convey to the viewer through your work?
Most of the time people see things in my art that have nothing to do with
why or how it was made and I am fine with that. I think we all do that on some
level. I find myself attracted by bright color and childlike shapes. I like art to pop
right off the wall. Other times I am drawn by the exact opposite. My hope is that
people can feel the joy that is inherent in the creation.
Who are your favorite famous artists?
- Louise Nevelson
- Alexander Calder
- Paul Klee
- Mark Chagall
- Marisol Escobar
- Mary Cassatt
Where do you create your art?
I have studio in the attic of my house. It is finished off with skylights, and the
light is GREAT!
What can always be found in your work space?
You can always find a big mess in my studio along with works in progress!
There is always MUSIC playing. My cat hangs out there with me.
How has your work evolved over the years?
My work has evolved in that I studied Commercial Art at Millersville University,
and my fine art is almost exclusively abstract. I have worked commercially and
still enjoy the challenge of doing so. Nissley Vineyards has my artwork on six
labels. My favorite piece of artwork is a collage titled “Spirit Wagon”. I created it for a
dear friend when she when she was diagnosed with cancer. It is full of color and
happiness that defined our relationship. Cancer could not diminish Sheri’s spirit
and this art is testimony to that.