Major Works Folio

Acrylic on Watercolour


Click each numbered link, to view larger image
The Golden Selection

"The Golden Selection": acrylic on watercolour, by Sue Risk

The Golden Selection

I painted "The Golden Selection" (1981) perhaps as I was beginning to unite symbolism and the action of light with realistic nature images.

The "Golden Section" is a geometrical design theory. The balance of three divisions and one focal point is based upon a mathematical principle, which demonstrates harmony, proveable by factors in nature, just as the Fibonacci series demonstrates the evenness and inevitable accuracy of the shaping of all spirals.

I was young. I joyfully painted a frog, leaping toward a lotus; but - my intention was to express a simple idea that is from Eastern religion.

The idea of "jumping" was bound by spiritual philosophers to the idea of a leap in faith, and, subsequently an advance in the enlightenment of the world.
Our teacher had called it a "Quantum Leap".

In Eastern religion, the lotus symbolizes spiritual acheivement, as well as the chakras, or energy centres of the body.
A lotus is also an Eastern males' symbol for male sexuality.

I also tried to convey the spiral within the geometrical principle of "Golden Section". The frogs' path takes him around the circle of lotus, and the action is caught up in the circling leaf.

The number nine is an important secret to numerologists, almost universally popularized in a song by the Beatles.

My nine rectangles also have a meaning for me of precision counting made joyous as a thought form because it is symbolic of a kind of intuitive math.

owner: O. Shewchenko

Leaf patterns

"The Corn in the Field Said Jehovah in Leaf Patterns": acrylic/watercolour on watercolour paper by Susan Risk

The Corn in the Field Said Jehovah in Leaf Patterns

This work is simply painted from a slice of life.

When I was young, I took long walks by myself in the winter. I walked to a farmers' corn field in the glittering, but freezing day, and , in a clearing that was mostly corn stubble showing through the snow, I saw corn leaves arranged by nature, to spell out yod heh vav heh (short form for Jehovah in the Jewish faith, or in Hebrew).

This is no exaggeration, or hallucination. Life is like that for a mystic on the path.

The shadow, faded by an old slide, is just of me in my hooded raincoat. It may not mean much, but this is the poem (below) that I wrote right after this experience, in 1982:

In the winter your brain suffocates,
oxygen starved.
The sky threatens a
cold diamond
of a sun

My knees stuck in snow -
I was terrified!
like a mouse
With a fox hunting it -

The corn mandala in the field
Said Jehovah in leaf patterns.

Wind blows through your organs
and you feel your brain collapsing
You smother - in the winter

White gingerbread
like Orangeville
with mock-orange smocking
Stonemasonry summers
with maples and osage oranges -

Carleton Place summers
On the Mississippi
You could walk down the middle of it,
or drown, like my neighbour
(the men too macho to wear lifejackets)

I walked like a black
Dancing free on the meadowgrass
and all around me
the meadowlife was sparkling -
little clusters of lights, like the dew on a spiderweb.
And I too silent
to want any people.

owner: O. Shewchenko

Detail of corn

detail of corn and leaf patterns: acrylic/watercolour by Susan Risk