Susan Abbott's painting series "Dream Tables" first caught my eye while I was casually flipping through the September issue of Watercolor Artist magazine. I sometimes like the art I see in WA, and sometimes it doesn't interest me much. But one of the things I like about the magazine is that they feature all types of watercolor art, displaying all style facets of the medium and interesting slice-of-life stories about the artists.
When I turned the page and saw Susan Abbott's paintings, they didn't immediately hit me over the head. Instead, they crept up on me like a chili pepper that's relatively mild to taste at first, but then quietly, methodically takes over the taste buds, bursting with flavor and heat. Her paintings are at first a juggernaut study of composition, pattern, and shape that work well as a huge composition. Give them a little longer though, and soon you'll find yourself engulfed in all the subtleties. These details don't reward the casual viewer though. It takes time for them to reveal themselves to you—and every time you happen upon one of these details or a small series of them, it feels like you have found a little treasure. It's in the way the shadow dances on a pitcher, or in the hyper-real focus of the flowers above the table which allows the viewer to "feel" the intangible space between the long, tall orchid and the table below it. Susan's patterns and colors play beautifully across the picture scape—never overwhelming the viewer, each separate color, hue, texture or pattern complimenting the one surrounding it, but also harmonizing with the bigger composition. Her paintings are true ensemble pieces. The whole is made up of all the players working in concert with each other, and they are all making beautiful music together.
Susan Abbott's blog
Susan Abbott on Flickr
Susan Abbott in Watercolor Artist magazine
Susan Abbott's Dream Tables series