One of my friends recently passed away. Susan Weinberg was a wonderful artist with an amazing 40-year history in the arts.
Susan would write to me every week after she received my newsletter. Sometimes it was just a brief note when she was busy, like “Keep going” or “Your best yet!” Other times she wrote longer missives telling me about similarities in our art or making suggestions for my work. I looked forward to her weekly messages and will miss hearing from her.
We only ever met once in person, when we both lived in Santa Monica. Susan was very much a part of the Santa Monica and Venice art world. For many years she had a gallery and home right on the Santa Monica boardwalk, very near the pier. The subject of her vibrant watercolor paintings was scenes of the pier, the boardwalk and the beach. Here are three of my favorites.
Like other artists, Susan was multi-talented. In addition to the watercolors, she painted in oils and mixed media, embracing accidents and serendipity in her work. Here’s how she described her painting process:
Sometimes accidents happen, and I try to incorporate these accidents into the paintings. As these paintings take form, they suggest different ideas and images to me, and I will often go with the flow as it happens. I am influenced by what I am wearing, what I am feeling, what is happening in the world at the moment, my ideas of life , and, of course, the music. The paintings are emotional and seem to touch people on a very deep level.
And here’s one of her recent oil paintings.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Susan ran a business creating handpainted fabrics for the interior design trade. At its height she employed thirteen artists to paint the fabrics that were featured as wall coverings and on furniture in banks, lobbies and other large-scale corporate installations.
As if all of that were not enough, Susan also taught painting, both privately and through Santa Monica College.
Some of you knew Susan. She was one of my biggest supporters. She always had something encouraging to say about my work, and I appreciated her steady presence in my life. She will be missed by many.
Who are the people that sustain you? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,