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artist in focus: susan keshet

Susan is an oil painter whose work focuses on the beauty to be experienced in everyday life. The four works exhibited in the gallery were created in early 2021, the time of pandemic, during which her focus was on simplicity and optimism

How do you describe your work?

They are mainly small, figurative works, paintings of quiet observations. They’re a collection of fragments and narratives with stripped back content on colourful backgrounds. Simplistic is a word I often use, and hopeful too

What would you say are your greatest influences?

There’s a long list of artists I admire but currently I’m inspired by the works of French painter Pierre Bonnard and the American artists Lois Dodds and Alex Katz

Who do you have in mind when you create your work?

I tend to focus mainly on what the paintings are doing, for example, how I am using the paint, rather than painting for a particular audience. Sometimes other painters come to mind whilst I’m working

What makes your art different, special and irresistible?

The simplicity of my paintings makes them different. Simple is not easy to get right, so whilst my work may look like it was made very quickly, in fact it takes a great deal of time to create. Composition is time-consuming and I never finish a work until I’m totally convinced by it

My work relates directly to life at the time of making - perhaps like a communal diary or a record of how things are. I focus on lighter, more ephemeral things and try to portray the positive and the beauty found in the everyday

What do people say when they see your work?

My work is like the story of a woman’s life - a journeying narrative. Some people have said they get goosebumps when they get closer to the surface of the paintings, which is wonderful. My work comes from somewhere personal but also a shared place so others can relate directly to my paintings

What do you think motivates people to buy your art? How does it appeal to the heart?

I have followers who buy my art and these tend to be people who enjoy simplicity, colour and a positive take on life. My work is quite calming and quiet. It also has a suggested glamour or stylishness about it. Perhaps they see themselves within the paintings and feel they could easily live with them. I’m glad that my paintings make them feel reassured or happy in some way


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