Archive for February, 2014

“Burning” c. Susan Sorrell Hill


(watercolor, pen & ink, gouache)

The original painting is available here. Museum-quality prints (and the original painting too) are available here.

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Spring Greetings, dear readers!

The mini-news of the day: there are now nifty links on my print & gallery site to my three favorite Artist Interviews so far. They’re really nice conversations and loads of images, all in one place. I’d be delighted to have you visit them here. While you’re visiting, sign up for the email list to receive hot-off-the-press news about new originals and prints in the shop.

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A grueling few days spent in Digital Land this week, but now (feeling like a new mother after a harrowing birth) I’ve got a smoother-running, easier-to-navigate website that features my works in watercolor, ink & pencil, and oils. Same general look, but new and improved! It’s the center of my digital universe, with links to prints, originals, blog, occasional news, loads of favorite books and my contact info. Stop by for a test run here.

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I’ve been thinking about that saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words” lately.

Being relatively facile with the back and forth between left and right hemispheres, I do enjoy pairing imagery with thoughtful essays here on this blog. But since my posts have become so wordy—when originally the blog was intended as a showcase for my art—sometimes I wonder if my readers engage more with the words and merely glance at the art? Is the art being viewed as mere decoration for the words? I wonder too, if my essays are keeping readers engaged at the intellectual level, when my art’s intent is really to encourage people to make their own synaptic leaps of insight, without prompting. Pictures being worth thousands of words is a nice turn of phrase, but as an artist in this Information Age, I’m wondering if pictures (and to be more precise, my pictures) can still truly stand on their own, truly speak, without words to illuminate them?

I think I’ll try a little experiment: posting art sometimes with few or even no (gasp!) words to accompany it. Never fear, there are more essays in the works too. As always, your comments will be much appreciated!

Below are new prints (and their originals), now available in my Artspan shop’s Watercolor Gallery here. (Click Galleries, then Watercolor, then click the thumbnails link on that page to see all of the available images at once. Or just scroll through the image bar at your leisure.) You’ve seen a few of these images on this blog, but these have been professionally photographed now and look great!

All of the below images are watercolor, pen & ink, sometimes with a bit of colored pencil and/or gouache.

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“Inner Wisdom, no. 2” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“Persona” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“The March Hare’s Nightmare” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“Bremen Town Musicians” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“The Blessing” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

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Little Suzie, with probably her first book. Circa age two?

Little Suzie, with probably her first book. Circa age two?

I have a long-standing relationship with books. It’s really more like a love affair actually, with a passion that has never cooled. Sure, the Internet is a vast source of information right at my fingertips and only a question, word or phrase away…but it is the deliciously slow unfolding and divulging of a book’s treasure that keeps me coming back, forever in love.

Books find me–the perfect books–like an answer to a heart’s call. I keep a Wish List on Amazon and often within months those same books show up in my life, whether through the funds out of nowhere to buy them new, through a gift or loan, or through a thrift store or yard sale. Magic!! Other people have this kind of attraction with parking places or money, I hear…

  1. Here’s just some of the things I love about books:
  • Books let me fondle their creamy pages, feel their delicious weight, and stroke their shiny or textured covers without ever once feeling used or abused, at least to my knowledge.
  • Books are content to be themselves, unique and not needing any reassurances from me.
  • Books don’t complain or care about wrinkles, sagging or aging. Indeed they often become more valuable with age. Good role models, yes?
  • Books don’t need me to make an appointment to see them.
  • I can laugh out loud, disagree, reject or walk away from a book, and there are no apologies necessary. I can even throw a book at the wall, though I wouldn’t ever. I don’t have to watch my P’s and Q’s or be tactful. I don’t have to give a book a certain amount of attention and time in order for it to feel loved. They are always there waiting patiently, and a book never holds a grudge.
  • I don’t have to clean myself up in any way to have a face-to-face with a book, no matter how expensive that book was.
  • I can ask endless questions of their pages and indexes, wear out their paper with thumbing…and they never get irritable or say, “Times up!” A book freely offers me entertainment and the full depth of whatever wisdom it possesses, and with no apologies. Unconditional love at its finest.

I, in turn, admire, appreciate and respect them immensely, turn to them often, praise and recommend them, lavish money on them when I should be paying bills, and give them an honored place in my home.

Relationships with people, on the other hand, are harder. Why can’t people be more like books, I sometimes wonder…

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll.
How frugal is the chariot
That bears the human soul.

“There Is No Frigate Like a Book”  by Emily Dickinson

SusanHillAnd ten points to the person who can identify the title of that book I’m holding in the photo! (My memory is not that good…) Click the image for a larger view.

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