HOT STEEL DESIGN
SUZANNE STEEL • CREATRIX OF VISUAL MAGIC
Suzanne Steel Art
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Throughout my life, I have pursued diverse creative expressions including ceramics, dance, mixed media, sculpture, painting, graphic design and photography. These days I'm thoroughly enchanted by watercolor.
Experimenting on the edge of the unknown in both concept and medium, has always provided me with a way to explore and discover new pathways into artistic development. My inspiration derives from a reverence for nature and light, the spiritual dimension of life, the wonders of the human body and the way it moves, the plant kingdom with it's healing and restorative properties., as well as the mysteries of the sea and our amazing planet.
My education includes majoring in Pictorial Arts and Dance at UCLA and UC Berkeley; Expressive Arts at Sonoma State University; and Dance, Kinesiology and Biomechanics at San Diego State University. Studies in Photography and Graphic Design followed at Palomar College in San Diego.
My first business, launched in West Townsend, Vermont, around 1971 was Dancing Water Pottery. I started from scratch, building everything in my studio including my kickwheel, my gas fired catenary arch kiln, and the shed which protected it, as well as all my tables and shelves. I loved the whole process involved in producing quality ceramics....the very physical nature of the work, the creative aspects of designing pieces, the scientific component of understanding clay and the mineral/chemical components of mixing glazes....as well as the spiritual nature of centering self and mound of clay on the wheel. Then finally submitting this creation to the fire and surrendering control to the reduction process as gases flowing around the pots in the kiln reveal their surprising, unpredictable and exquisite effects.
DANCE AND MOVEMENT EDUCATION
But alas, the ceramics business became cumbersome and I decided to move on to teaching Creative Dance Improvisation (which I had studied concurrently at university) while delving deeper into the science of movement and postural alignment. I incorporated structural bodywork and movement education into my offerings in the Dance/Movement arena. During this period I lived in Vermont, Sonoma County, CA and the Big Island , Hawaii.
PHOTOGRAPHY and GRAPHIC DESIGN
20 years later...following the creative path before me, again led me to embrace another part of my education in the arts, Fine Art Photography and Graphic Design. I learned photo and design the old way, pre-digital.....which gave me a solid foundation and understanding of how things work, for the transition to all digital.
I engaged in a lot of experimental pursuits in my darkroom, as well as into Alternative Historical Photographic Processes, including Cyanotype and Van Dyke printing. For an introductory understanding of how these processes work, click here.
My photographic work has been shown in galleries and exhibitions on the west coast, featured in photography magazines and distributed worldwide, winning numerous awards and competitions throughout the nation.
I resided in Venice Beach, CA; San Diego, CA' Marblemount, WA and Bellingham, WA during these years.
Another 20 years and a perfect storm of personal and global issues collided around 2008 when I was forced to slow down my business considerably. A dozen years later, here I am.....realizing that I've always wanted to learn watercolor and this was my time and opportunity. This feels like coming full circle to painting and drawing, where I started way back in 1968 at UCLA. Wow. What a journey! I hope you enjoy viewing the fruits of some of these pursuits.
My home is now in Birch Bay, Washington.....on the shores of another wonderful beach and convoluted coastline replete with scenic splendor.