"This piece is inspired by a pattern called the Area Under the Curve (or AUC, such as in the study of pharmacology, physics, math, computational models, finances, etc.). It was painted with acrylics, acrylic polymer media, and acrylic inks on cradled board. I used paint additives, so that when they were brushed onto the canvas, the pigment would pool into the brush marks. In some areas, I used heat to force the liquid-pigment into some of the other (nonlinear) shapes. I wanted this painting to represent how we all have worked through unusual experiences in the last couple of years (supply strain, financial changes, Covid-19, and other strange, unforeseen events!). At first, I wasn’t sure how to express this in a physical art form. Pulled by changes to our routines, we have pushed ourselves in response to a need of certainty in some form or another. In the midst of it all, I witnessed how we all operate in the area under the curve, or even, somewhere outside of it. This ‘curve’ has been turned on its side literally and figuratively. From that, this piece was inspired. It represents perseverance, resilience, and experimentation."
- Suzanne Hellums
Prints are produced on demand on stretched canvas, acrylic plexi, or giclee fine art paper in a variety of sizes here in the United States.
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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. She was a medical researcher until her health prevented her from returning to the lab. Being in New Mexico and Alaska 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, New Mexico, Florida and 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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