“Water Like Memory” I am fascinated by water. Its patterns and dynamics are at once calming and stimulating. Water is ever changing and what lies beneath its evocative surfaces is never fully revealed – a mystery that drives my recent paintings.
With camera in hand, I have spent many hours documenting the movement of different bodies of water. Most of my paintings are based on the spring-fed ponds and lake near University of Virginia’s Mountain Lake Biological Station in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia. My photographs of surface motion serve as a jumping off point for my compositions. As I paint, I am aware of the physical layers I build, from the bright white surfaces that show the sky above to the hidden depths below.
Many of my paintings are abstract images; they have no beginning or end, no horizon line or point of view, as if the viewer is in the midst of water, submerged and without grounding. The contrast between lights and darks creates tension between above and below; seen and unseen; agitation and calm. The underwater realms seek to embody states of mind beyond landscape, suggesting something present but just out of reach.=
My previous work has focused on other patterns found in nature and landscapes. I have most recently started a series of still-lifes of glass containers of water with organic material. With this new study, I continue to explore the reflective aspects of water and light and how it alters our perceptions of submerged objects in a contained setting.
Susan Willis Brodie is an Art Teacher at Fluvanna County High School and is an Associate Member of McGuffey Art Center. She exhibits her work locally and nationally. She is married and has two teenaged children.
Susan Willis Brodie