The 2023 NASUS slide show

Susan G Holland
2 min readAug 21, 2023

SGHolland © 2023 — April 19, 2023 , Seattle WA

Another Slide Show about the tumultuous year of 2023

Assessing my life from an 85 year point of view:

My art comes from inside. I don’t make art for someone else…I don’t make “inventory” art. But if my art reaches out to a viewer it becomes valuable.

What I see in visceral memory as I review my life

This is a mural about 12"x 40", on prepared butcher paper with acrylic paint.

The fifth person on this strip (see below) is a dreamy-eyed old woman. I am depicting the status of five different eras in the life of a woman as these chunks of time affected me. These are not portraits of me, but expressions of how I have experienced my life at different stages. Just the amount of curiosity, hope, dreams, actual work of living, truth about pain and determination and disillusionment, and toughness, and also, in the end, a sort of separation from all of the above as I think back through the eras and assess my journey.

the aging era of remembrance, assessment, acceptance.

When an urge to create art comes, it seems not to be when the schedule suddenly put images in front of my eyes. Yes, there are constant studies of faces seen in mirrors and on the model stand, but when “a painting” evolves it skips the photographic likeness as it gives life to the depicted person; in this case the person is me. This is a row of people over a period of time. Times sweet and with them times of struggle.

*Pain and pleasure are linked.The link between pleasure and pain is deeply rooted in our biology. For a start, all pain causes the central nervous system to release endorphins — proteins which act to block pain and work in a similar way to opiates such as morphine to induce feelings of euphoria.

As sensitive taste buds may be shocked by a bite of hot pepper, there are those who find tremendous pleasure in painfully “hot” foodstuffs.

As people exhaust themselves playing bruising and/or exhausting sports, they are ecstatic about winning the match!

Think of childbirth. Think of war. Think of sex. Think of lifting weights.

And so, in the end, there is some sort of balance that can be found in looking back at the “painful bits” and seeing what the pain has taught! The results are often blissful to experience.

And so, this is the sort of thing that begets my art-making. It’s the friction of the fractiousness that makes the lesson sweet. And paintable.

SGH

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Susan G Holland

AS ALWAYS, curious...I wonder, I ask, I probe, I learn, I write , and I'm still doing it at "going on 87!' Now living in Seattle WA , and still making art.