Susan Firestone – Chance and Cadence: Paintings 1983

Chance and Cadence: Paintings 1983   – Gallery 101 –  Apr 15 – Sep 26, 2015

In reflecting on this series of paintings in which I was intrigued by the shapes of large magnolia and catauba leaves, I felt compelled to gather these leaves as they fell from the trees. Their leaving seemed to anticipate the future in the age old natural cycle. I began arranging these forms, which in turn initiated movement and defined pictorial space that offered areas for bold color. The yearning to bring natural elements into the studio that embraced the promise of renewed life and light filled me with an energy to explore… to let go and allow chance to lead in mark making and gesture. Being open to what would come without a predetermined plan seemed to initiate symbolic shapes and spaces, which captured the experience of enhanced aliveness in painting in the moment.

Being present with these paintings now, I am reminded of a joyous time of life when days and summers were long and children were young and loved the beach. This series was mostly painted on Fishers Island on the boathouse walls next to the water’s edge. The reflections moving over the water’s surface, the changing light as it made it’s way to sunset, and the seemingly long hours punctuated with natural sounds, sights, and vibrations became my sources and impetus to make these works. I am grateful for that time and those moments which continue to fill my soul.