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  • Sussan Strauss

Mixed Media

Updated: Sep 16


Mixed media resonates for me. Perhaps my complex way of seeing the world came from a culture of pluralism in my childhood. My father encouraged speaking and hearing any language except English at the dinner table. Each evening we kids could hear dialects from Switzerland, Austria or Bavaria as well as French, Italian, Spanish, German, and some Japanese. This layering of language informed and made passing the salad far more interesting. My father was broadening our perception.

Mixed media has become a visual language bridge. I grew up with POP art and old technology using dots and screens. The esthetic stuck with me. I speak on the canvas using bits and pieces of this language. Along with this printmaking and photography heavily informs my work. One thing I enjoy while reading a painting is following the artist's path; the processes taken make the artwork. Often, I like the surprise of embedded layering, confusing the order and sequence of the creation process. Not all elements added are needed at the surface. Giving the editing process over to the painting’s completion can be a struggle but worth it and surprising.


Usually, I’ll make a bunch of elements and then play with them and see when or how they might fit. The Pink silkscreen of the Lotus is an example. Frequently I'll print elements on rice paper as it can dissolve and meld into the canvas. There are times though that anything at hand might be used as an experiment. I also like to draw on and in the paintings. Many times, I begin a piece by putting down a few elements, then do a color ground and then really begin the painting. I keep boxes of bits and pieces of useful scrape materials in my studio and along with collections of natural objects, such as rocks and plants. Making elements helps me drop into the energy of the dialogue with the painting.


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