Susan Cohen draws inspiration from nature’s infinite variety and patterns. In vibrant oil and monochromatic walnut ink, her paintings combine observed and imagined reality through a keen, unsentimental lens. Often drawn to complex, highly structured blossoms, her subjects become intricate silhouettes, strikingly set against a spare background. Ribbons of contrasting lines adorn many of her vessels which are presented as abstract fields of looping light and dark. Cohen received her MFA in painting from Brooklyn College, where she studied with Lennart Anderson, Philip Pearlstein and Lois Dodd. Her works have been exhibited throughout the United States and can be found in the collections of the US State Dept/PRM Bureau, as well as corporate and private collections. She was a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Cummington Community for the Arts. She currently lives in New York City.
I am inspired by nature’s incredible variety and exquisite detail. In these paintings in oil and walnut ink, I paint flowers and still life, using a combination of imagination, observation, memory and reference photos. These paintings are a departure for me, in that I have extended my approach to painting beyond the faithful representation of an arranged still-life. Many of the historic and contemporary paintings I admire are depictions of objects, landscape, interior space, and light, in a context that is both imagined and respectful of observed reality. As I continue to investigate this way of working, I am discovering the freedom I was looking for, and an open door to continued invention.