Anne Neilson Fine Art is thrilled to share their findings on an artist whose work individualizes the expression of abstraction and details the momentary aspects of color: Susan Britt Macon. A Carolina native, Macon is known for her use of bold colors and ever evolving knowledge grown in the workshops and classes she has taken over the course of her artistic career. Inspired by the color and movement, her compositions are influenced by nature, interior design, photographs, people and personal experiences. The unencumbered joy that is felt by the viewers of her work is innumerable, and we are so glad you all will get to know just a bit more about this wonderful woman as you read our exclusive interview below!
When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?
About 15 years ago I started painting as a walk of healing when my father became quite ill. I studied under artists that I was drawn to their work. Eventually, I started selling and taking commissions. I believe I wanted to be an artist or at least study art in the early 80s, but I didn’t because that was during the time of the birth of the “career woman”. What would I do with an art major was the question. I studied math (the other side of the brain) and never made a career in it either. So, here I am going back to my heart’s desire!
Describe your aesthetic in three words:
Just When I Thought It Was Over, 36×48
Describe your artistic process and preparation?
First, I do morning prayer and devotions. I look through magazines, books, photos or take a walk outside to get inspired. What I’m looking for is the beauty in my surroundings and when I see that “something” I just know in my spirit that that’s it! Then, I put on worship music and go to the canvas! Sometimes I paint what I see before me and other times I paint an interpretation of what I see.
Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?
I don’t know that I actually have a favorite piece, but I can tell you why I love painting. I once had a teacher say, “ Don’t get to attached to your paintings. They’re not yours. They’re meant for someone else.” I believe this! I have received numerous letters, emails and texts from people telling me how much a painting means to them or how the painting speaks to them or makes them feel such hope and joy. This is why I love painting!
Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?
Professionally, Alice Williams inspires me. She was my teacher, is an incredible artist, a colorist, an encourager and a visionary. I haven’t seen her in a few years but when I see her work…I hear her.
L’ Automne du Luberon II, by Alice Williams
Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?
I really can paint anywhere. I’ve had studios. I’ve painted in the garage. Plein air. Once I’m on the right side of the brain, I’m gone! I’m in another world!
A random fact about you:
For the past twenty years we lived in Florida. We were transplants…not originally from there. We lived in an old neighborhood where everyone was related. Our first Christmas there was just for our family of four. The children didn’t find that exciting after watching large families gather after the Christmas Eve service. The next year I decided to start inviting friends that weren’t from Florida or going home to visit their families for the different holidays to our house. We called ourselves the “Island of misfit toys”! Holidays were always fun and interesting!
Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?
My dream trip is to go to Israel! My favorite place to vacation is our family house at the Outer Banks. We call it the Box by the Sea. No frills, nothing fancy. Babies bathed in the kitchen sink… outside showers as they grew older. All day on the beach. Parents Happy Hour 5-8pm. Tomato sandwiches, Ice cream runs. Owens. Captain Franks. Jockeys Ridge. The Lost Colony and lots of family story telling.
What are you currently reading?
Daring to Hope by Katie Davis Majors.
What are you currently listening to?
I love learning and being inspired to hope with all that is happening in the world today. I’m listening to two fabulous teachers, Rick Booye and Jill Briscoe.
What would you be doing if you were not an artist?
I’ve done everything from outside sales, retail, interior design and teaching school. At this point in my life, if I weren’t an artist, I’d probably in ministry.
One thing you couldn’t live without?
Jokingly, I have to say my big round brush and high heat hair dryer!!! If you saw me on a hot humid day, you would tell me, “Girl, you need a big round brush and a hairdryer on high heat!” No reintroducing the 80s!
If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?
My poodle Lolllie! She is spoiled, pampered and loved beyond measure! hahaha
Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?
Too many…Monet, Degas, Matisse, de Kooning and Diebenkorn. Favorite emerging/may be established by now artists are Caroline Boykin, Eileen Power, Janie Pinney, Christina Baker, Lucy Williams and Erin Gregory.
What do you want your audience to know about your work?
As I mentioned above that I started painting as a walk of healing during a difficult time when my father was quite ill. In that season of soul searching, I was asked, “what do you want to do?” I replied, “I want to paint!” Looking over both shoulders in surprise I asked, “who said that??” My friend pointed at my heart and said, “I believe that God has given you a gift. Now, use it. Go paint.” I believe that my paintings express beauty from ashes. I pour out onto the canvas what I can’t write, speak or express….but, this is His gift! I’ve tried painting series of paintings or reproduce something that I’ve painted before. It just doesn’t happen. Each painting is unique and has it’s purpose!!
A preview of Susan Britt Macon’s work currently available at ANFA:
City of Hope, 30×30
Sometimes You Just Have To Move, 36×36
Greener Pastures I & II, 24×18