Everything Wahlrab does is to support an ever-deepening connection with the pulse of nature. This is seen as well as felt when spending time with her work. “I feel the landscape reveals all of life and since that includes us, is healing beyond understanding,” explains Wahlrab. In this last year, she evolved into focusing in on the flowers, even more so to the magic the flowers hold. “Who does not love flowers?” Wahlrab asks. “They make our hearts sing, and when our hearts sing, we are our very best selves.”
One statement, shared by Kinkead, perfectly conveys the thoughts of all three artists and the gallery as a collective group. “The pieces in this show are moments of stillness and movement… all inspired by patterns and events over this past year.”
“As I continue on my path, I notice color more and more. This has led me to the flower as a representative of all of nature. Energy, spirit, beauty, story, passion, reproduction and well, life!” shares Wahlrab. “In taking a small piece of a large landscape, I notice and describe more and more intricate variations. And even though small, it certainly represents the whole.”
“Experience has led me to a whole new chapter. This lifetime of infusing with the natural world created a big “Ah Ha” moment. All of nature is represented in a flower,” shares Wahlrab, still amazed by the realization. “There is abundant literature, folklore, and symbolism related to flowers. Most have their own connection and stories with these amazing creations. Even those living in a concrete space, in a high-rise, in a busy city, find a way to bring flowers into their lives.”
“My new favorite place is Schoodic Point, a part of Acadia National Park. A dear friend of mine let me know that if I am there at dead low tide, there is an island just off the coast I can walk to and explore,” Susan explains. Many of her new pieces come from, what she describes as, one amazingly magical morning.
“Sanctuary represents one of those days, really months, of the pure bliss of connection. Every step I felt guided and clear,” says Wahlrab. Not only did this piece come together, the process just let go. “I was in a relationship with how paint describes how nature is our resource to recharge full lives.” This sensation has stayed with Susan with her work even on the challenging days. “I am able to just let go and allow the painting to come in its own time. The whole process has become my Sanctuary.”
At a very young age Susan Wahlrab was expressing her own “important ideas”. “My grandmother said I came home from whatever event and went right for my drawing pad or my desk chalkboard and immediately created a visual diary of what most interested me,” says Wahlrab. “Making images has been my way of integrating life’s experiences since I was very smallI.” Having someone to nurture those interests and natural curiosities soon led Susan down the road to becoming an artist.
It was only after a conversation with Vermont State Curator, David Schutz, that Susan truly began to understand her work’s connection to the concept of reflection.