Before the Spring
Between Earth & Air

V A R I A T I O N S series

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Variations 2016 - 2017

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In her latest series of paintings, Variations, Susan G. Scott has created a poetic revision of the landscape genre. For many years she has let her energetic brush describe the woodlands that surround her studio with calligraphic arcs, splashes and dabs as lively as the woods and streams she is picturing. Her new works, drawn on a grand scale, step into the realm of the sublime. The scale is immersive and, removed from the easy orientation of earth and sky, they are as intimate and disorienting as a love letter.

Pursuing a refinement of her vision and technique, Scott has enriched her expressionist training and western sense of weight and volume, through her travels to Asia. Studying Buddhist philosophy and the great landscape painters of China and Japan, her works play with our sense of negative and positive space, questioning permanence, reality, time itself.

In this series of enormous canvases, some more than 12 feet across, the viewer is invited to enter into a scintillating and immersive topography. The paintings shimmer with light and dark: at times reading as floods of sunshine, then, with the blink of an eye, as the parting rays of evening. They evoke the crackle of twigs, the murmur of water and the incessant susurrus of leaves and branches as one travels over a pleasantly uneven geography of rocks and trees.

Perhaps the most stunning departure for Variations is the use of a grisaille palette. Landscapes created exclusively with Paynes grey are vibrantly alive. At the same time, they evoke another time and place, travelogues of an early explorer. Look closely, and you will find the occasional figure embedded within the brushwork, partially consumed by light and shadow. Nature rules and we exist as passing shadows, visitors lost to time.

Christine Unger