The Merriam-Webster Dictionary states, “Art is something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.”
Many of our artists have always found a way to integrate art into their lives long before society ever called them artists. In their early years, they were drawn to color, design, photography, or just a really great napkin doodle. Regardless, it was in their blood. It was a knowing that beauty is meant to be captured in a form. They sketched or sculpted and always found a way to express themselves and their surroundings with visuals.
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 small.” Having someone to nurture those interests and natural curiosities soon led Susan down the road to becoming an artist.
“It was a natural step to go to art school,” remembers Wahlrab. However, it was while she was completing graduate work that she discovered a different passion, a passion for teaching. This lead to positions at Swain School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, Framingham State University and Maine College of Art. Teaching became a way of sharing a love with others who understand that love.
The other side of Wahlrab’s life was quite different from her art. “I discovered movement from an early age, as well. It began with swimming, on to hiking and running, then to yoga,” says Susan. It is this exploration that led Wahlrab down a path which she thought would run parallel to her art, but became something separate. And yet, turn after turn these roads continued to weave together, one not complete without the other. “At this point they are both such a part of me. I can not imagine a day without my morning practice and meditation followed by hours in the studio. The yoga brings the balance and connection I need to continue to grow.” Susan knows that on a practical level the physical strengthening and calm focus supports the demands of standing all day painting and working through challenges, yet she knows it is more than that. “On a deeper level yoga has integrated a full and complex life which I can use to inspire as I continue the journey of expanding as an artist.”
Again, a passion led her to teaching; something that has become just as natural as movement and art. “One thing is clear. When I find something I truly am passionate about, I want to share the excitement through teaching. The process and time I put into classes supports my own learning journey. A life of observation and connection of body, mind and spirit.”
We welcome you to come in and see our complete collection of Susan Wahlrab’s work here at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture in Kennebunk. Her watercolor technique is as beautiful as it is unique, and is meant to be seen in person. However, we know this is not often possible and encourage you to visit her Artist Page on our website. If you are interested in learning more about Susan Wahlrab and her art, please read an earlier blog about one of her works, Reflection.
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