By Susan Siefer | October 2, 2020

On March 18, 2020, I went to my studio at Waltham Mills in Waltham, Massachusetts, and brought home boxes of art supplies, paint, and my small loom to hunker down for what I thought, what we may all have thought, would be a relatively short time. A couple of years earlier, I had begun creating my small canvas “shelters” as symbolic safe spaces in response to an increasingly disturbing administration. I never thought that the word “shelter” would take on such meaning as it has today, and be the premise of a new way of life. I incorporate weaving (my first love), decorative plasters, gold and silver leaf, embellishments, pigment powders, and the light and color of North Africa in my work.


“Social Distancing in the Village,” canvas mounted on cradle board, 24”x30” ©2020 Susan Siefer


“Safety in Numbers,” acrylic, mixed media on canvas, 24”x36” ©2020 Susan Siefer


On June 1, I was able to move into a larger, brighter studio and I began the migration from my spare bedroom to my new space. My large canvases have taken on a life of their own. From purely abstract, they are now channeling the three-dimensional forms of my shelters, becoming figurative-like. My models are strong women who have paved the way. I have a need to tell stories of individuals and of personalities, to open discussions, to continue keeping socially distant. I go back and forth between the sculptures and the paintings, each relating to the other (with a bit of whimsy). I hope my work also projects the poignancy that tells the back story that is our shared history in this moment.


“All Dressed Up, Nowhere to go,” canvas mounted on cradle board 24”x 30” ©2020 Susan Siefer


“The Light Shines Through” (I began this right before pandemic hit, resumed when I moved into my new studio. The light at dusk.), acrylic, gold leaf, mixed media, 48”x48” ©2020 Susan Siefer


“Shelters,” (models for my paintings),  molded canvas, mixed media, varied in size 8”- 12” high, ©2020 Susan Siefer

Please pop into Virtual Waltham Mills Open Studios, Nov. 7 and 8, 2020. I will be posting all info on social media.

Copyright © 2020 Susan Siefer
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