Rio Rancho, New Mexico
“I take more time to complete my paintings. I have a couple of autoimmune diseases that can limit, or translate into my paintings. Ultimately, I put my joys, love, thoughts, and experiences onto canvas (or other mediums). I always hope the viewer finds my awe towards life and sees the hope I carry with me, in all my works.”
Once a biochemist and molecular biologist, Suzanne now uses a scientific approach to create paintings. Art has become a way to combine her diverse interests allowing her to play, relax, and cope with chronic pain and loss of mobility from Crohn's disease and Ankylosing spondylitis. Suzanne often uses household products or chemicals to create new consistencies or reactions with traditional art materials. This process informs the line, design, and flow of her paintings. She writes: “I keep notes about my work. My health prevented me from continuing my science career, however, almost every painting I make has a scientific process, technique, or theme to it.”
Suzanne received a bachelor's degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Mississippi and a Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Mississippi State University. She was working as medical lab researcher, until her health conditions prevented her from returning to the lab. A move to the arid climate of New Mexico gave Suzanne the relief she sought and allowed her more time to start experimenting with acrylic media.
An additional influence on Suzanne’s art is interior design, architecture, and local landscapes. She has lived in diverse locations from Mississippi to Florida to Alaska, and currently in New Mexico. As a result of moving often, her family has remodeled seven homes that they have lived in. Suzanne’s current home was designed around a particular piece of granite that now makes up the kitchen counter. Her series “Granite Inspired” featured at ArtLifting, was inspired by the earthy tones of the stone.
A natural alchemist, Suzanne attempts to combine the best elements of science and nature as she writes: “I try to imagine a landscape or object, and what it would look like if it were taken down to its basic components or molecular level. I find the marriage of science and the beauty of nature most challenging to paint, but also makes for the most interesting pieces.”
Prints by Suzanne Hellums
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