SUSAN ROSS : BIOGRAPHICAL STATEMENT

Born in the Arctic, above Hudson Bay, on Baffin Island, my father with my mother, just married, had headed north, he as the first doctor to the Eskimos, Pangnirtung, a good place to go for a few years. Yes, that's me over there. From narwhales, polar bears, days of the midnight sun and long days of dark winter, we followed the path of migration towards the sun of California, 'the golden state', a euphemism to my thinking, for the scorched earth of summer, and Downey, a community of palms, stucco, and ranch style homes.

My earliest body of work, the paintings from the late seventies and early eighties, all 6'x6', that size being the dimensions between the washing machine and the work bench built into the garage wall, as well as the ceiling height, these works although more playful on first glance, have a stillness to them drawing from that early suburban experience. Heavily painted boundaries surround the figures. They are in an environment but don't really interact with it. Mundane subject matter, the people play out the great catch-22 of our lives, the comedic tragedy of it, we are here, we fill our time, then move on, perhaps we leave a footprint, a heart, a voice in someone's head, a memory that we existed, perhaps all we leave is stillness.

In 1985 I began working for Director George Lucas company, Industrial Light and Magic. I started first in the model shop for eight years building practical models, and soon became the artist painting the large backdrops of skies. This large scale still informs my work, I feel comfortable and at home with the canvas that I can turn to find my way.

By 1991, the computer revolution made incursions into the movie making process and for the next twelve years I painted creatures for films using the new technology. Scribbling layers of color to build and define a surface while zooming in closer for detail, led to the discovery that within the abstraction were images, so clearly there, that I could with a few strokes define and separate them from the surrounding chaos.

In 2005, eight years and six months ago, had an epiphany, bolt upright from deep sleep, in the middle of the night a thought heard so clearly, "This is the time". The next day changed everything.Sold my house that week, gave two weeks notice at work after twenty years, had thoughts of eventually moving to Italy or Ireland, but New York sounded right at that moment. Put a finger to the Catskills on the map, and without ever having seen Upstate, bought a property on the internet, followed the dream and moved East.

Since arriving here, my work reflects this leap of faith, the 'E' ticket. Using the technique I developed at ILM, I scribble on blank canvas, continuing to change sides until images emerge. I capture them with brush, the subject matter defines itself, and as I work the realization comes that my unconscious already knows what the conscious is only becoming aware of. Thoughts,issues, concerns that continually reemerge during the course of my days find their way into my work. Although my painting has always focused on who we are as humans, the emphasis has changed from the sentence carefully crafted to a connection more direct, a way of working which allows the unconscious to come forward into a thoughtful and cohesive statement of who we are, where we put our values and the consequences of our actions.


Thank you for taking the time to read this and view my work




Susan Ross

My Father and baby (that's me) in Arctic