On the Rocks, by Susan Schwake.
15% of the gross sale of this print goes to Médecins Sans Frontières.
Susan Schwake grew up in a creative family, with her father painting and her mother playing music. For the past 16 years she has run an independent art school, which she developed and opened for children and adults. For the past seven years the art school has been a part of artstream, llc, a gallery and design studio. Susan owns artstream with her partners, Rainer and Mary-Jo. Susan has curated over 60 exhibits at artstream and has been a guest curator at other venues. She also has worked as an artist in residence in many public and private schools and community organizations.
Susan's work has been collected and exhibited around the USA and abroad. In the spring of 2010, her work will be exhibited in galleries in the UK and Romania. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has created public art works for the city of Portsmouth, NH and Rochester, NH where she lives with her husband Rainer and two children.
Print variations - each is one-of-a-kind.
About the print:
"On the Rocks" is a gelatin monotype, with additional hand-painted elements in ink. The title comes from many a trip to the ocean here in NH with my family. We scramble upon the rocks looking for sea glass and often find ourselves simply sitting and staring out to sea. The blackbirds have appeared in my work since the fourth year of my studies in college and represent my obsession with birds in general. With "On the Rocks" I hope to evoke the sense of quiet and calm that we get from our trips to the ocean. A larger original monotype "On the Rocks" inspired this series of prints.
Each print was printed on the same plate twice, with the inking process being matched by eye. The final process was hand-painting the birds with India ink on each of the 50 prints. I used water based block printing ink and India inks on 310 gsm archival standard etching paper. Due to the hand-made nature of these prints, each one is one-of-a-kind.
What has inspired you recently?
Nature continues to inspire and inform my work. Much of this comes from living in New Hampshire and being so close to nature each and every day. Other direct inspiration comes from working with so many artists at the gallery, assisting my husband in his design work, my artist friends, and my 15-year-old daughter Chloe who rocks her art big time.
Why did you choose to pair Médecins Sans Frontières with your print?
There doesn't seem to be a more urgently needed cause at the moment than Haiti's catastrophe. I hope to help in a small way through this charity.
How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Working with children and adults in my classes at artstream has shown me directly what making art can do for an individual in a positive, nurturing setting. For the children, it gives them a super power for which they don't yet have any words, and the adults often find their way back to the childhood they forgot to explore fully.
If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I had a wonderful mentor in school that I still keep in touch with - John Terry Downs. I would have loved however to have met Paul Klee, as seeing his work in Munich made me weep (much to the dismay of my children), and Ezra Jack Keats who delights and inspires me even now when I reread his books to myself (as now, my children read on their own).
Who are some artists that other people should know about?
So many. But high on the list would be my good friend Megan Bogonovich who seemingly never runs out of steam and courage when working with some of the most difficult materials known to artists.