21 Aug 2014
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Artist Captures Human Struggles on Canvas

Local artist Suzy Schultz gaining national attention.

Artist Captures Human Struggles on Canvas Artist Captures Human Struggles on Canvas Artist Captures Human Struggles on Canvas Artist Captures Human Struggles on Canvas

On a recent October afternoon, Suzy Schultz shared some thoughts about inspiration, the difficulties of being an artist and what keeps her working.

A full time painter since 1996, Schultz works out of Little Tree Art Studios in a re-modeled industrial complex in Avondale Estates and has won many awards for her work.

Surrounded by fellow artists, Schultz enjoys the camaraderie of her peers and says she has the best studio in the building. Although the day is a bit chilly, the bay doors are open and natural light floods in.

 “Being exposed to the outdoor elements makes me feel more alive and connected to my art," Schultz said. “I really love feeling and seeing the change of seasons. I only close the doors and turn the heat on when it gets really cold.”

Primarily a figurative painter, Schultz said she is attracted to diversity.

“I’m curious about people that look different than I do — different nationalities and races. I see faces I want to paint in the and in my neighborhood in Kirkwood, or just out walking. I find beauty in a weathered face or in those that reflect some kind of tension,” she said.

“A recurring theme for me is ‘Second Innocence,' ” she reflected.  “First innocence is an untested, unmarred beauty. In Second Innocence, beauty is borne from the trials and struggles of life. That is what interests me and what I strive to capture.”

She just returned from a trip to Los Angeles, where two of her paintings are in juried exhibitions, one at the City of Brea Civic Center gallery and other in the National Watercolor Society gallery in San Pedro. Schultz said the trip was eye-opening.

 “Most of the art I saw out West was either very edgy or abstract or had a clear narrative. I came back wondering if I needed to change directions.”

But those questions seem more distant now as she settles back into painting in her studio, where at least once a week she paints from a live model.

“I take photos too, but there is nothing like having a person right there — to be able to capture the essence of their beauty and mystery.”

Schultz works in oil, water color, acrylic and graphite and is constantly experimenting with textured surfaces as a base for her paintings.

“I work the surface, sand and layer it with plaster and gel to produce a piece that has the patina of age, so when it’s finished, the figures seem to emerge from within the canvas.”

Her work can also be seen in Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta; 16 Patton Gallery in Asheville, NC; Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta; Silver Fox Gallery in Hendersonville, NC; and Art on Broad in Augusta.

Art Shots

The Jew Catcher, Academy Theatre, by David Fisher, Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m. A Holocaust survivor recognizes the man who decades earlier tricked her and her family out of hiding and into the hands of the Gestapo. Rather than go to the authorities, she takes the matter to the elders of her synagogue. www.academytheatre.org.

1940's Radio Christmas Carol, OnStage Atlanta, by Walton Jones, David Wohl and Faye Greenberg, Nov. 25 – Dec. 18. It’s Christmas Eve, 1943, and the Feddington Players are now broadcasting from a hole-in-the-wall studio in Newark, NJ, to present their contemporary “take” on "A Christmas Carol."

Holiday Studio Sale, MudFire Gallery. More than 100 artists display their best work of the year. Sale continues through Dec. 23.

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