Artist Bio - Susi Franco

Artist Bio - Susi Franco

Although I have a distant background in the arts, primarily music and writing, I painted sporadically, maybe one work every few years or so. It was a passion I did not have time to indulge very often related to the responsibilities of rearing six children alone and working 60-70 hr weeks as an RN to support them.

Almost 7 years ago my entire life was catapulted from its' usual path by a severe back injury which left me totally disabled, unable to work. Overnight everything I believed in was drastically altered; it seemed my life was stuck in re-wind. The rigors of constant pain and lost independence pushed me into an abyss of depression I was uncertain I had the strength to combat. Because I am allergic to most narcotics, I was also dealing with issues of chronic pain I was at a loss to cope with.

My sister remembered I had always loved to paint, and deeply concerned for my well-being, started sending me student-grade art supplies and subscriptions to various artists' journals to occupy me.

It worked.

The very first time I put brush to paper, several hours flew by and I realized how diminished my awareness of pain was. I started to study the journals voraciously, painted daily and totally immersed myself in the practice of art. I slowly remembered what it meant to be happy.

I also realized I had to make a decision whether to live or die. I am not ashamed to say Art saved my life, provided me a desperately needed focus that took me outside myself, made me see my world from a different perspective.

What started out as pain-relief blossomed into first a passion and now a way of life, a new career. Art returned to me the desire to live and thrive and create, equipped me with the tools necessary to survive.

As you look at my work you are seeing my physical pain, only transmogrified into another form, just as ice assumes another form as it melts into water. Art is my vehicle for discharging the negativity of suffering; I believe it can do that for not only the artist, but the viewer as well.

My style tends toward Post-Impressionist with a strong Fauvist influence, and I am quite fond of Abstract Expressionism. Most people are surprised to learn I use old world classic techniques to create contemporary works, such as under-painting, bistre and grisaille. I make serious commitment to the study of art; I move in evolution through various periods in my work and absorb something of each one, further flavoring my art. My style is always changing; I am quite purposeful in that regard. That liquidity of style may confuse some folks, but I refuse to be limited by someone else’s view of what Art should be or how the artist should maintain their work lexicon. The unifying factor in my body of work is my use of color, it is a source of deepest satisfaction for me to communicate through color. For me, it is nearly a religious experience.

Although the three dimensional qualities of oils consistently astound & delight me, I find excitement in the potential of any creative medium and am always experimenting, learning, attempting on a daily basis.

I exhibit very actively both regionally and internationally; at this writing my work hangs in four countries and through an international art association will be traveling to more soon.