32: Painting and parenting, methods toward deeper love with Susanna Bluhm

In this episode I interview the incredible painter Susannah Bluhm. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her wife and young son. Her paintings are semi-abstract and explore personal biography and landscape. We dive deep into her painting practice, chatting about the ways she conceptualizes ideas for paintings and how she sets up parameters to create a body work. I ask about the abstracted characters that show up in her paintings and find out their meaning and how she uses them repeatedly.

We discuss the many ways her painting practice parallels her life as a parent, the difficulties she experienced during the early years of raising her son. She also explains the current body of work she is making called Red Country, in which she is traveling to the individual states in the US that voted in President Donald Trump. She is making paintings from her visits, reflecting on the landscapes she views and the people she meets. She hopes to bring some resolve, to empathize and find connections with these people and places to repair the schizms she has experienced and that media and politics have created across our country.

Susanna holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Susanna has received many awards including a Neddy Artist Award, an art residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and has been included in numerous publications such as Two Coats of Paint and Art in America. I hope you love this interview as much as I did!

Please connect with Susanna on instagram @susannabluhm or see more of her work on her website http://www.susannabluhm.com

Susanna Bluhm
North Carolina: Livingston Apartments (The Whiteness of the Whale), 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas, 90 x 62 inches
Mississippi paintings in progress in Susannah’s studio
 Louisiana: Lake Martin (Ahab), 2018, oil and acrylic on canvas, 62 x 85 inches
Idaho: Oranges and Lace Curtains in a Window in Hailey (The Pequod meets the Albatross), 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas, 87 x 74 inches
Susanna’s son helping her in her studio
mission control for Susannah’s Red Country project
Arizona: Grand Canyon with Theo, Queequeg and Lunchtime Squirrel (Biographical), 2017, oil and acrylic on canvas, 86 x 135 inches
The RV from Susanna’s family road trip for her Red Country project, Spring 2019
Susanna’s wife and son on their family road trip, Spring 2019
Susanna’s family

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