"Pondering Nests" Interview with Susan Gansert Shaw

Our first artist interview is with Susan Gansert Shaw.

How do you describe your craft? My art is a combination of all that I am – it represents the peace, love and laughter that I wish for the planet.

Describe one of your favorite moments as an artist. My absolute favorite moment as an artist is when spirit comes through me into a piece that I am currently working on. I have no idea how that piece got to that stage or completed. I am simply the conduit.

What inspires or motivates your work currently? As always – nature!

Current "Nest" Series: "Nest 1," "Nest 2," "Nest 3," "Nest 4," and "Nest 5" watercolor and pastel

What artists or people have influenced your practice? Lots of visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian - but watching the creativity of first and second graders paint…ahhh the spontaneity – it just flows!

At this moment with Covid-19, How can the arts help? Post Covid-19, what do you hope changes? What role do you think the arts might play? The arts can help by being accessible to all – art can show that there is an alternative to “same old, same old” – art can show the possibilities for the future of humanity.

How has this transition hit your craft and how can we help you? This situation has given me more space to contemplate what my future work might be…what my priorities are on a personal level and a planetary level.

With the exceptions of occasional shows and ARTJAM I pretty much work in my studio and on my property and enjoy the solitude. I am pondering exploring “nests”… I’m in my nest in the ‘hollow’…a shelter…a den…a refuge…a roost…a lair…a safe place…WOOPS! There I go dreamin’ again!!!

"Joy Bird # 4" and "Joy Bird #2" watercolor and pastel

What is the creative practice for any level artist that you recommend for our readers at this time? Meditation. The meditation I do is so simple. That’s why I put together my “Cat Guru’s Meditation Guide for Youngsters of Any Age.” Basically, you just give yourself a break. Take a seat…hands in lap…take a few breaths…as you inhale say to yourself so as you exhale say to yourself hum…inhale so….exhale hum…and on for about 20 minutes….yep…that’s it!

What were you concerned about 3 weeks ago that you’re no longer worried about now? Meetings.

Anything else you’d like to add.

“The move from the lush rain forest, pristine beaches, and amazing rainfall to the climate with it’s open skies, light infused color and a horizon that goes on forever is not only very unique to me, but very challenging artistically. I look forward each day to seeing an array of new possibilities. To achieve peace, love and laughter is a significant part of who I am. Hopefully these will be reflected in my creative endeavors.”

Susan’s studio is home to her “White Woman Susu Sticks”, specialty cards, “Cat Guru’s Meditation Guide for Children of all Ages”, not to mention her “Pussys for Peace” and “Chick Peace” bumper stickers. Susan’s studio is open by ‘appointment or luck!”

"Dead Ted" acrylic; “The One and Only Sandhill Skipper and Flying Cat Ballet”, acrylic; "An Elite Group of Messengers from the Great Mystery”, acrylic

How can we find more of your work?