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  • Writer's pictureSusie Zol

Creative Process On Display

Hello You,

I'm at my creative desk overlooking the garden, listening to the fountain and writing about my creative process for the pieces I'm showing this weekend at ArtWalk @ Liberty Station in San Diego, CA. As I think about it, I realize that I've come to love the core of my creative process. It is simply allowing and accepting. Of course it isn't that simple all the time but it's always at the heart of my best work. When I'm stuck or if I find myself trying to "think" my way through a painting it always helps to pause and get clear on what is in front of me. Am I allowing creativity to flow through me or am I trying to direct it. Am I accepting what comes from the flow or am I being critical and dismissive. My answers help gently guide me back on track and back into the creative flow.

The pieces I'm showing this weekend are a reflection of what’s been happening in my life. I’ve been going on walking and hiking trips that are a bit farther away from my neighborhood. Sometimes it’s to the beach or the mountains, even the desert. I’m a curious collector so I look at what’s around me and I take lots of pictures. I collect rocks, feathers, sticks, shells, things around me or under my feet.

When I’m back in my studio, some of the things I’ve collected and photos I’ve printed are around me or in my mind. When I'm creating, I’m not thinking about the outcome or how my collections might play a part in my art making but I gather them around me along with my favorite paints and tools. The items, photos and memories all conspire together to inspire and energize me to create while I’m filled with joy and gratitude.

Another kind of exploring and collecting takes place in my shared studio space. On a recent "play-date" with my artist tribe, we made gelli-prints, lots and lots of gelli-prints! I loved the colors, patterns and shapes I could create by combining the torn papers with paint on the canvas.

Near the end of working on the first piece below, Block Party, I was delighted to see that what appeared on the canvas (in an abstract way) was my experience of that day. I can see the table with lots of colorful papers laid out for drying, the city skyline that was my view that day, the path along the water's edge where I took a walk and all the different energies moving around me. I can see where I allowed and where I accepted.

In the second piece, Delight In the Mysteries of Life, I'm using painted collage papers (a different play-date!) and bits of fabric to build the composition. This painting followed the same creative process of allowing and accepting and when I was finished I saw many pieces of my life gathered in many containers with life sprouting from seeds I'd planted long ago.

Block Party

20"h x 24"w

acrylic mixed media on canvas


(click the painting to link to it in my shop)


Delight In the Mysteries of Life

36" x 36"

acrylic mixed media on canvas


(click the painting to link to it in my shop)


This is my creative process. I allow life to fill my soul with the treasures I collect, pictures I take and family/friends who surround me. When I’m creating in my studio I accept that my life is my art and my art is my life.

I hope to see you this weekend at the show!

In gratitude,


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