Gallery Bergelli

Itís a beautiful spring day and I notice the heliotrope has the tiniest of leaves sprouting on its near dead looking stems. Iím thrilled. It has survived the transplant and the cold nights. Then I see the strangest looking bug. It looks like a toad the size of an apple seed. I get my camera. Itís gone; but perhaps Iíll paint tiny toads in a painting to record that moment of wonderment. Unusual birds pass through the garden in the spring and their songs stop me. I follow the sounds. There in the upper branches is a bird Iíve never seen, a red-whiskered bulbul. I will paint it to really see it. I will walk my brush over and get lost in the miniature world of every feather.

My paintings are combinations of what I perceive as real and underlying unseen elements of nature. My perceptions of nature are often defined by its patterns, delicacy and astonishingly exquisite details. I record the process of contemplative observation in the garden where there are microcosms of interconnected systems, aligning and flowing in and out of each other. It is a continual work in progress. The gardens I paint are reflections of the works in progress we call ďour livesĒ.

Traditionally egg tempera is used to create very precise imagery, and I utilize that quality for my subjects. The subjects of my paintings are specific and the backgrounds are expansive Ė which I liken to the throwing of coins in the I Ching, to isolate the present moment. When different pigments are layered, pooled, rinsed, or sanded they combine and react to each other, and all the variables and possibilities collide to create one outcome.

~ Susan McDonnell

Susan McDonnellís paintings have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries throughout the United States, including the HAUS Gallery/Brewery Project, the Jose Drudis-Bada Gallery, and Random Gallery in Los Angeles; Klaudia Marr gallery in Santa Fe; and Artbanque Gallery in Minneapolis. She received a BA and MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Open publication


Susan McDonnell