Artist Interview with Suzi Dennis

27 Jun

From time to time I get new instructors in the shop, which is always a lot of fun. I like to introduce you to them via an artist interview. You get to know them and like them before you meet them in class.

This week I am talking to Suzi Dennis, who is coming to teach in August. Thanks Suzi for sharing with us and I look forward to your upcoming class (Tape it! Paper it! Collage it!).

 

Suzi Dennis

Suzi Dennis

Tell us a little bit about your background – where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?

I grew up in south Arkansas, the only child of wonderful parents. We traveled a lot across the U.S. when I was growing up and I believe that is what gives me the travel urges I still have today!
Where do you live now? How long have you lived there? What do you like most about it?
I moved from South Arkansas to St. Louis when I was 43 years old and after about 6 years there I moved to my parents home on the lake in Hot Springs, Ar. I have been here with my husband John since 1995. My parents passed away and as an only child, I inherited this home. I consider myself to be very very blessed to live here. I love living on the lake! And Hot Springs is an area where lots of artists make their home and work and play. Glad to be one of them.
Have you always been interested in art? Or is it something you found later in life?
I have been doing art since about age 10 when my Mom started enrolling me in art classes. My Dad was a self taught engineer and had exceptional drawing skills and my Mom loved the needle arts, so art in some form has been in my blood since birth.
What type of art do you do? What is your favorite medium to work in?
I am mainly a Mixed Media Collage artist at present and have been for about the last 15 or so years. I had to stop painting to work in the real world and raise a family, but started back in 1987 and in 1993 started following the art fair circuit. I was into watercolor for 8 years prior to Mixed Media. It became very predictable for me and I felt a need to move on. That is what I love about Mixed Media Collage…very unpredictable. Makes me use my creative brain cells. I also make handmade journals and  love to weave and have started teaching Weaving 101 in my studio only recently.
How long have you been teaching art? Why did you decide to start teaching? What is your favorite class to teach?
After being on the road for 15 years doing art fairs, age started catching up with me and we decided it was time to “store the tent”. So in 2009 I went back to work in my other profession, nursing, and retired in 2012. At that time an artist friend of mine who has been teaching for awhile said “why don’t you do online workshops?”. I had no idea there was such a thing!! So I jumped in head first and created some online workshops and then decided to start teaching in my studio and it has snowballed from there. I teach mixed media collage, journal making and weaving and I can’t pick a favorite. My favorite thing is meeting all the people I have met and making so many new friends.
Who is your favorite artist? How have they influenced you in your art?
Love Van Gogh and loved him even more after seeing his work in person in Chicago several years back. I love color and texture which he provides both of. I really am attracted to all kinds of art and different artists, but he is at the top of the list. Modern day I am mesmerized with the work of David Galchutt who I also call friend.
Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Everywhere. And most of my work is spiritual. As a Christian I draw much of my inspiration from the Bible. I also have 4 cats and for some reason, cats and birds usually wind up in my pieces! 
Do you have a favorite art quote to share? 
“I dream of painting, then I paint my dream” – Van Gogh (of course)
Where can we find you? 
And of course, she will be here at Blue Twig Studio teaching a fabulous 2-day class Aug 15th & Aug 16th. If you are in the area, I hope you can join the fun. Click this link for more info about the class.  Here is a quick video clip from Suzi herself!
I love Van Gogh too and I draw a lot of inspiration from his use of texture and color and intensity. His life story is also amazing.
~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist out to Play
Blue Twig Studio – 5039 N Academy Blvd – Colorado Springs, CO 80918
719-266-1866
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2 Responses to “Artist Interview with Suzi Dennis”

  1. kristin June 29, 2015 at 5:33 am #

    great interview!

    Like

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