Susannah Paterson Painter, Ceramicist & Psychotherapist

First Blog Ever

Greetings! This is my first blog post and I’m a tad nervous about it, but I love writing, and I’ve been meaning to do it for ages, and so today is the day.

I thought the best way to begin t was to talk about my painting process. To describe the process of creating a painting, and what goes on in my head and heart whilst I’m doing so. I know my work can be complex, and sometimes people are more comfortable with a nice still life, or a landscape, but you got to think of my work as a
landscape of the psyche - and hey, you know how uncomfortable that can be, and how beautiful or inspiring. It’s taken me years to find my own visual voice, and now that I have, I ain’t letting it go for nobody. I accept that not everyone will like it or that it isn’t always “nice” and it probably won’t match the blinds or your sofa, .. but for me, painting and art is so much deeper than all that … and I am accepting of the idea that I’m not a commercial artist, but I am a professional artist.

With all my work, I do “mine” my own psyche, but my belief is none of it really belongs to me. I am just a channel, or like a radio transistor who picks up the images and ideas that are already sitting “in the field” - another way of describing Carl Jung’s “collective unconscious”. These images come from my own experiences which include all the people, animals, phenomena that I may interact with, which is kind of limitless if you think of all the sources of information, images, that one is exposed to through the media, internet, local environment, friends, family, work … yes, limitless. So what I mean when I use the term “field” is the infinite field. It’s the vast (as far as we know, limitless) space in which we all co-exist. All our thoughts, experiences, feelings from past, present and future exist in this field. The challenge is not to impose too much “conscious” on what wants to be expressed.

So my paintings explore the unconscious, the sub conscious and the conscious. The process is always a conversation between my own conscious and the painting itself, which must have a voice. I find it quite an intense and challenging process, ever tempted to try and over control it, the painting seems to teach me restraint … and to leave some things undone, unsaid, or unexplained.

My greatest joy is listening to people projecting their own meanings into them .. my years of work as a psychotherapist tells me that this is important, and inevitable. Might as well offer something that allows people the freedom to do that.

That’s enough for today. I’ll continue in the next day or so.