Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Hey people.  Everything starts with an idea.

Sure.  Everybody knows that right?  But really think about it--- look at that ring/ watch/ pen/ chair-- whatever is currently handy.  It started out as just an idea in someones head, and now it's *an object* in the physical world.  That thought is freaky and exciting and makes me think anything could be possible when I'm optimistically charged-up like I'm getting back to being now.  (Ray is continuing to do his part as you can see.)

I know many of you are curious about *new idea*, which still isn't ready to be revealed yet, but you know it's got to do with moving more towards 2-D.  Weirdly, I've dabbled in 2-D for years, just not sure what I was doing or why.  I've collected huge stacks of images I was drawn to for various reasons.  The other day an art pal came over and we just spent the day sorting through them, filling our tanks with creative ideas.

Sometimes an image will stick and work it's way into my sculptures.  See the gal standing on the horse?  I forgot I had this pic, but I did that "46" piece for my last show that had a girl standing on the back of a horse.  This soup of images is always floating in my brain.  Women especially. 

I've always liked combining and layering images in different ways.  One thing I'm doing in connection with *new idea* is looking very hard at what other people in the field I'm interested in are doing.  Most of the work seems to be done by male artists, something that is also the case with metal sculpture.  

I like the fact that so far I've not seen anything out there that is anything like what is in my head.  My work can be edgy, but I think it still definitely has a female vibe.   (None of the images below represent exactly what i have in mind.  This is all very old work from years ago.)

I especially like creating images that give off power, or create some kind of myth.

This friend I spent the day image-sorting with is very astute.  At one point she said, "You seem to really be about empowerment."  I liked that.  I've always wanted to help people realize their own inner awesomeness.  She has another friend, who I am anxious to get to know someday, who she said is more about groundedness.  It struck me how powerful those two concepts are, different energies, but equally powerful.

In the past, whenever I've gotten too absorbed in this-- the world of images, I've forced myself away from it because it's not my ~real work~.  The kind of art I get paid to do is sculpture.  "Get to work dummy."  It didn't matter how cool of an image I came up with, the most useful possible outcome for it would be as a sculpture idea, and it usually didn't translate.

How cool is she?

Sometimes they did though.  Another idea that won't go away is this fantasy about fictional cultures, or lost tribes, or intentionally formed tribes--- essentially people, usually women, who run away to Neverland and create their own culture and mythology.

The picture of this woman, who I think of as a prairie wife, really struck me.  She looks so bleak.  For some reason I wanted to jump into the picture and give her an alternate ending where she runs off to form a tribe of fierce warrior women, never to be dominated by men again.  The final product is something I think has a lot of impact.  Many people find it disturbing, but I like it even if it perhaps is a bit challenging.
The first sculpture I made based on the vague idea of her was called "The Watcher".  It used to be a big favorite of mine, and still has a vibe, but when I look at it now my skills have evolved so much its tin soldierish look really bothers me, and I left out the Native American influence.  The watcher turned into more of a bandit queen, but was still sprung from this.
This is a later version of the same idea.  This woman feels more empowered to me.  She looks happier, and has more energy.  To me she is a leader, The Chief, or possibly a magical creature. 
This version eventually became Jezebel Birdsong, and arguably, even Tina is an offshoot of this idea.

Now that *new idea* is brewing, I'm thinking maybe all this fooling around with images, which has been going on for about 10 years, maybe hasn't just been useless playtime.  I think there is now a way I can use these ideas for work, new work, a whole new area for me to explore.   It involves me working on some technical skills I've never bothered to develop though.  

One thing I'm doing while all this bubbles away in the crock pot of my head is working on drawing.  (This is just one area of self-education I'm working at.  There are many *new idea* require.)

I've always sketched rough ideas, but need to learn to actually draw.  All this is still fun, but now having something to aim at, to focus my energy towards, makes me way more into it.  (Don't judge, I know I have a long ways to go, but you have to start somewhere.)  :)


Maery Rose said...

Cool drawing. Never apologize for your art -- words of wisdom from my son. He says if anyone ever questions or critisizes, just tell them that it's your style or something on that order. He also told me when I complained about not being able to draw, "How often do you draw? I draw all the time. That's how you get better."

(Word verification is "defun". What the heck?!)

What you wrote about someone noticing what "you're about" has me pondering -- what the heck am I about? Might be something to figure out in 2011.

pseudosu said...

Thanks Maery,
Yes-- I need to spend LOTS of time at these new things. That's why it will be while before *new idea* is ready for public scrutiny. :)
As far as being *about* stuff-- I was flattered this friend thought this, and would like to be *about* empowerment etc, but also about being open, and taking chances, and having ambition, lots of things. A lot of times I'm just me though, swearing and being bad at things, and being self-centered and all the other ~bad~ qualities. I guess it's good to strive for being about the lofty things, but to realize we're all just human huh?

irishk said...

I think that last woman with the horns/antlers kind of resembles a female version of Dan. There is something about the mouth ~ not sure what it is but it does put me in mind of Dan. Tell the truth, did you have him get in drag and pose for the shot!? Just kidding:-) It does however look like him! The self-portrait is totally inspired ~ difficult to do. Interesting comparison of empowerment and groundedness. While they seem in opposition, they are really both borne of strength. Cool. The other thing I notice about so many images that you seem to be drawn to is that the women are often becoming air born in some fashion. Their feet are rarely planted. Fitting. Your mind and feet are generally racing somewhere at all times:-) Cool post Sue! Such an exciting time for you:-)

pseudosu said...

That is SO freaky-- because I found that pic in an antique store, and I've always thought it looked incredibly like his sister who is one year older than him. They actually look a lot like twins. Maybe an ancestor? You never know-- that would be wild!
The drawing isn't a self-portrait, even though i drew it off a photo of me in my kitty hat. I draw from photos until i really get how something looks so well I can draw it from my head, like I can with lots of animals, horses etc. Drawing people is kind of new to me. The girl in the pic is younger and prettier than me, and to me has an exotic dark scandanavian thing going on that might be Finish or Icelandic. Thanks though. I always find you comments so interesting.