FOR Approximately 50 yrs, Susan Lawson Bouma’s proverbial “happy place” has been in entrance of a canvas. The colorful, oversized abstract paintings she generates are daring, infused with energy and motion and usually remaining with no titles so individuals who purchase them can make their possess creative interpretations.
“I not often title paintings,” suggests Bouma, who moved to Lake Forest with partner, Robert, and their youthful loved ones in 1979. “People can glimpse at them and see what they see and come to feel what they come to feel. I believe naming my paintings is restricting because it influences the viewer.”
She unintentionally identified a enthusiasm for portray in the 1960s when she was named in to substitute for a New York Town general public university artwork instructor who walked out soon after the pupils threw paint in course. She put in the relaxation of the 12 months as the school’s artwork teacher and has been devoted to developing her expertise as a painter at any time given that, studying art in America’s key metropolitan areas: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa (also household to the famous Grant Wood, most famed for his iconic American Gothic painting), Bouma started out out by studying the masters in oil— drawing inspiration from visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork and the Art Institute of Chicago, as very well as Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction catalogs. Focusing on French impressionists Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, and John Singer Sargent, as perfectly as American impressionist painter Frank Benson, she discovered about colour mixing and composition. About 15 decades in the past, Bouma became fascinated in abstract painting just after looking at an artist friend pour paint on an unprimed canvas on the ground of her studio. This led Bouma to analyze American abstract expressionist painters Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell. It also led her back to the classroom. Below the advice of Deborah Gooch, a notable Vero Seaside-based artist and instructor at the Vero Seaside Museum of Art, Bouma commenced to hone her capabilities. Soon after a couple of years of finding out with Gooch, Bouma was invited do the job beside her in her studio—the Vero Seashore studio she maintains now with a few other artists.
“When I arrived again from Florida early in the pandemic, I didn’t recognize that I would be absent from my studio for almost a calendar year,” explains Bouma, who majored in English and Record at Coe School in advance of shifting to Manhattan, wherever she examined artwork at the New Faculty and later on gained a master’s diploma at New York College. “I was nervous to paint but no home in my residence was appropriate. Which is what led me to the garage. Although it is a little bit shabby, it has high ceilings and good light—even an previous-fashioned sink. On hotter times, I could open up the garage doors.”
This would not be Bouma’s 1st residence studio. When she and Robert purchased the 1918 residence much more than 40 several years in the past, they designed a space to paint on the third ground by incorporating a skylight. As time has handed, this home grew to become the stitching area, and the wrapping place, and sooner or later the storage place.
But Bouma experienced identified a new put to paint: a studio at Gorton Neighborhood Centre that she shared with a team of like-minded feminine Lake Forest painters in the ’80s and early ’90s. The team was critiqued weekly by the chair of Lake Forest University Art Section professor Michael Croydon, whose sculptures are exhibited prominently around Lake Forest.
Some of the work Bouma has accomplished above the very last yr will be on show at Arch + Fletcher & Fork, 913 Inexperienced Bay Road in Winnetka, by way of June 12. Bouma also donated one particular of her parts to last month’s “Cattails and Cocktails” auction to gain Lake Forest Open Lands Association. Presented all the things that’s happened around the past yr, she is particularly thrilled to share her work with other people.
“I’m thrilled when anyone connects with a person of my paintings,” says Bouma. “The believed of my get the job done on display in someone’s dwelling is potent and gratifying.”
Bouma, who served on the Board of Trustees of the Vero Seashore Museum of Art for 6 a long time and is however concerned in the Vero Seashore artwork community—including a solo exhibit in 2019—feels she was lucky to have a put to work throughout the pandemic.
Artists count on the community and camaraderie with other artists and Bouma was delighted to paint on celebration with Lake Bluff artist Vanessa Clarke, a new graduate of the MBA application at the Artwork Institute, who experienced to give up her studio in the town thanks to the pandemic.
Even her grandchildren arrived to paint— most often 8-year-old Nelly Herbert, daughter of Whitley Bouma Herbert, who lives all-around the corner.
“She came more than to paint a canvas for her mother for Xmas and I claimed ‘Nelly, would you like a couple of tips?’ and she claimed ‘No, thank you.’ She needed to do her possess issue and I thought that was terrific,” Bouma describes. “But I know Nelly is very pleased of me. Whitley overheard her on a Zoom simply call for college and she was holding up a portray and declared, ‘My Nana is an artist’.”
Many thanks to turning into vaccinated, Bouma was in a position to return to her studio in Florida this previous spring. “Having the garage room is what acquired me as a result of COVID. It really did,” she provides. “I missed the give and consider and energy of acquiring other artists close to but to be able to just wander out the doorway to the garage and appear at the painting I was doing the job on and set down a few strokes and sit down and assume about it … it was certainly a present.”
For much more info about Susan Lawson Bouma, check out susanbouma.com. For much more data on Arch + Fletcher & Fork the place Bouma’s operate is staying demonstrated, pay a visit to fletcherandfork.com.