"The sky in this piece was painted before any other part of the painting. It was inspired by the blues, pinks, and purples that dominate the sky at dusk. I thought I would paint a beach scene, but after researching some locations, I realized the remaining part of the painting needed to be a lakeside. I attempted to use pigments, micas, pastels, and paints made/sourced entirely in North America, but lost out on that ability on a couple of the mica and pastel colors. This painting took months to make, because I would glaze a layer and set it up after drying to reassess what colors I wanted to put on it. Finally, after looking all over for a deep purple pigment from North America to add into the water, I found one made in the US! Yey! Every time I had tried mixing raw pigments, I had to come up with for the purple streaks in the lake, I would wash it off and start again. Finally, after getting a burgundy purple, I was able to finish this painting! Part of me still wanted to work on it further, but after 1 more wash of pigment and tweaking the sky, I found that I liked the way it came together. It was finally completed after Christmas, 2018. This piece reminds me of a vacation day by the lake, but also represents the hard work that goes into earning a day off."
- Suzanne Hellums
Prints are produced on demand on either acrylic plexi, mounted canvas, or giclee fine art paper in a variety of sizes here in the United States. High quality print reproductions for your home or office designed by artists living with homelessness or disabilities.
Rio Rancho, NM
Once a biochemist and molecular biologist, Suzanne now uses a scientific approach to create her paintings. Art has become a way to combine her interests, which allows her to cope with chronic pain and mobility issues from Crohn's disease and Ankylosing spondylitis. Suzanne often uses resin, acrylics, micas, and polymers; to create new consistencies coupled with traditional art materials. This process informs the line, design, and flow of her paintings. She writes:
"Every painting I make has a scientific process, technique, or inspiration to it. Art connects me to science.”
Suzanne combines her favorite elements of science and nature, as she writes: “I imagine a landscape or object, and what it would look like if it were taken down to its basic scientific components. I find the marriage of science and the beauty of nature most challenging to paint, but also makes for the most interesting pieces.”
“My autoimmune diseases can limit my painting frequency. I put my joys, love, thoughts, and experiences onto my substrates and canvases. I want the viewer to find my awe towards life, while seeing the hope I carry with me.”
Suzanne received a B.S. degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, from the University of Mississippi, and an M.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, from Mississippi State University. While working in Alaska, Suzanne was sent to Albuquerque for training. She fell immediately in love with the area, and after begging her family; the move to the arid climate of New Mexico gave Suzanne the physical relief she sought. She was a medical researcher until her health prevented her from returning to the lab. Being in New Mexico has allowed her the mobility to resume painting; something she began as watercolorist during her childhood.
Suzanne has lived in diverse locations from California, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida to Alaska. As a result of moving often, her family has remodeled seven homes. 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.
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