A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Saturday, 4 April 2009
ART SUNDAY - SUSAN SEDDON BOULET
“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.” - George Carlin
This Sunday, I offer you the art of Susan Eleanor Seddon (1941-1997) who was born in Brazil of English parents who had emigrated from South Africa. Two years later her mother died, shortly after the birth of her second child, Patrick. The artist spent her early childhood on a large citrus and cattle farm. She loved the connection to nature offered by farm life and enjoyed a rich fantasy life fed by folk tales told her by her father and by the farm-workers. Encouraged by her father, she began drawing; her first subjects were the cows and horses of the farm. While Boulet took art classes off and on during her life, beginning in her finishing school years in Lausanne, Switzerland, she never studied art formally. She said, in fact, that she never planned on becoming an artist--the vocation came to her as by accident.
Boulet came to the US in 1967 to work for Braniff Airlines. It was also in this year that she met and married Lawrence Boulet, who inspired Susan to invest herself seriously in her art. Boulet credited the birth of her son Eric, in 1969, with freeing her creativity, saying that Eric “somehow freed the child in me; gave me permission to enjoy fantasy… gave me permission to do unicorns and dragons”. Boulet began selling her art in 1970. By 1972, aided by her husband who managed all non-artistic aspects of her career, she was supporting the family. In 1980 her husband died of cancer.
Much of Boulet's work from the 1970s pictures cheerful images from fairytale and fantasy-jesters, knights, mermaids, magicians, and the like-executed in rainbow-bright colors. Around 1980 Boulet produced 'I Heard the Owl Call my Name', the first in a series of paintings that pointed to a new direction in Boulet's work. From this point on, Boulet painted images that she felt tapped into the essence of the collective human unconscious. She visualized images of goddesses from various cultures and Native American shamanic personages that combined the forms of animal and human into a coherent whole. Boulet drew the inspiration for her art from a wide variety of sources: Mythology and poetry, Jungian psychology and worldwide spiritual traditions, as well as deep love of animals and the natural world.
Today Susan Seddon Boulet's paintings are held in collections around the world. Susan Seddon Boulet died in her home in Oakland on April 28, 1997 after a long struggle with cancer.
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.