PUNKER VALENTINE SERIES
OTHER GENRES: BOTANICALS WILDLIFE POINTILLISTE ABSTRACTS ] PRESS ] BIOGRAPHY ]
painting from Valentine series: acrylic on canvas by Susan Risk
Entitled "I Love You", my acrylic painting of a cockatiel was made as part of a Valentine set.
If you examine the bubbles in the ocean waves, they spell out "I Love You".
Hokey as this may seem, I embraced a concept of another, more famous artist, who had painted a cockatiel in sunset, instead of a cloud pattern made of a cockatiel (or fossil of) somewhere.
I also expressed a beginners' awareness of the communicability and universal conductivity of waters.
My cockatiel is the heart form in my Valentine, and it is also meant to be a tropical cloud.
What is Surreal
As my wildlife work progressed, I had begun more and more often to combine spiritual awareness and details of the natural kingdom, the works becoming more surrealistic.
Fertility was important to me, so I painted transparent eggs in some my works, but as simple as the symbolic concept may seem, transparent eggs are also the myriad auras of sentient, but transcending beings.
a little poem that matches the quest:
Susan Risk, 1982
Only to be one
with what acts
like lovemaking upon me -
The hot sun
Just to be simple -
Birdtalking in beak patterns
Just to be quiet
Fish-finning in the stream.
They all want the neon
pre-packaged deities -
no-one worships what God has manifest
Compassion - that which knows by becoming.
Simply to be one
The sharing - sunwoven
Sunwoofed and earthwarped
(poem from copyright # 471696)
painted in 1983
painting owner: W.Howard
This painting is nearly the silliest work that I have ever produced.
The lily form in the storm clouds is sticking her brattishly haughty tongue out. She is naiive, upset with "him"
When I got the idea for a tongue instead of a pistil, it was because I could almost feel lilies blowing raspberries with their tiny, moist sensors!
The lily in the clouds is saying "sour grapes" to the other girl lilies, but especially, she is mad at "him".
There are deep clouds of passion and storm afoot, but the light is shining on the young flowers.
The note, crumpled and tear-stained, thrown carelessly to the ground, is from a spurned young chick. You can't see it, but it is lined excercise paper from school days.
The grasses are turning to transparency because all of the story within a young girls heart is going toward transcencion, the realm of the beyond.
owner: D. Risk/ Photography by Fluffco
"Pierre,mon cheri, Hasten Your Resurrection":Valentine Series, acrylic on canvas by Susan Risk
Pierre, mon cheri, Hasten Your Resurrection!
I painted corocuses in the snow as a symbol of Parliament Hill, in Ottawa. In early spring, a small symbol of hope arrives as the thousands of croci pop up everywhere on the Hill.
My sardonic Valentine was to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, a Liberal leader of Canada who had evoked both love and hate from both enemies and supporters.
I used a plastic Valentine chocolate box playfully. My love for Canada is here, surely. I am a Canadian. But, did I need the over-sweet contents of the cheap Valentine?
I filled my sky and my Valentine with something meaningful- eggs and fish, flowers, snow, slush, rain, something fertile, something scorpionic (like P.E.T), a mating of simple symbols.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau was packaged, and made into a logos effect, but his concepts had been sniped out of the box, and the press, with a vengeance, were writing critiques, claiming that he thought he was Jesus Christ incarnate.
Pierres' enlightenment vampirized the Ottawa Valley community. I felt it and saw it (big time) in this manner. Within his solipsistic application, we (the people) were his body. We were his cells, an expanded body.
Since he did not seem to care much about anything but appearing to be in the cherished cheri gift package, he did not work on his "body",(or, 'shell') well enough.
He knew how to disguise himself as a love object, and used it as a defense. In fact, he used everything as a defense, and it is a wonder that the crocuses of parliament hill were not boiled and smashed, too, never again to show their innocent silken heads!
I felt that he deserved the small Freida Kahlo style plaque I stuck into the snow. At least, if he wanted to be as high as Christ Almighty, he could have the courtesy to wake up that part of himself from the dead that so many of us dreaded.
Possibly as an illustration of an increasingly corrupt era, this painting, along with five others were sold at the fraction of the price I had asked for them at a Guelph art auctioneers.
They did not honour my reserve bid,and sold six $1200 paintings, some of which took a month to paint, for $275.00, altold. I had asked for a reserve of $300.00 and no less, or no sale. I was stuck with art theft, and do not know who the owners are.
"And Your Pride An Artist":self portrait, Valentine series,acrylic on canvas.
"And Your Pride An Artist, An Artist For Money"
There are no doubts in my mind that the song "Your Pride a Dancer" will still appeal massively to music lovers 20 or even a hundred years from now.
I extemporized when naming my self-portrait, probably because I felt like any person embarking onto new endeavours, because that song , as well as the fine entertainer for whom the music has become logos, has also become meaningfully logos to at least, now, two generations.
Having spent many years working in the educated arts, I felt proud of what, and who I was.
My choice for a self-portrait was pretty youthful (for the costume study). My son and I had gone to a "Mad Hatters' Tea Party" at a friends' home, and we were lucky eough to have photos of ourselves in our silly hats!
My work and lifestyle has pretty well always been on about transcension and spiritual enlightenment, so that I borrowed a very everyday symbol from East India. I painted a space for a Marigold onto my hat, and then had the "good fortune"(which is endowed into it, culturally, by East Indians) float down from the sky, almost as if the luck were about to be caught into my life and times.
I was very optimistic. I had acheived new skills and had proved that I could sell fine art, as well as the silver and gold work which was from my original education. (Material Arts, Metals Major, A.O.C.A.)
I realized that, tragically, I was from the starving artist realm, but I still had pride and purpose.
Below my frivolous self-image (I was 31 years old) I painted another aspect of self-development.
My education had given me an edge on art history, and I was beginning to doodle odd cartoons. I realized that I had discovered a meaningful memory from my own genetic heritage, and I studied my images. Doodles can be an important way to understand a persons' actions and intent.
I believed that I had recall for an early Jewish game (the way that we play "monster", each adding a sketch to the last persons' on a folded piece of paper). This was a doodle game, but each person tried to outdo the other in employing Hebrew letters (even other written languages of the period) to produce small figures that were inherently descriptive- personal logos, in other words!).
I recognized a scientists' adventurous personification, in creating a hunter,(right, top figure) though the spear is aimed at a scientific effect. I saw the humour in the hippo image -(the persons' nickname).
My several dancers were traced from photos of actual dancers, adding to the sensibility of a choreographed lifestyle in the arts.
As for the hat, well, it was my taste to pin on the inevitable peace dove, and to add a blue scarf - my favourite work, (colour of peace and of deep healing) when heightening toward employing light in meditation. As well, I had used a huge wheel of red felt tape for several years, and had wrapped it onto the hat as a symbol of tantra. Eastern tantra is characterized, actually, by a red silk thread. Tantra is Sanskrit for thread. The essence of its meaning is that all sentient being is interconnected with Nirvana.(meaning heaven, or the One)
Looking back, this is a more important work to me than I understood at the time. The juxtaposition of symbols from eastern and western cultures expresses the "path moment" (moment, in the sense momentum)wherein my studies in Buddhism had led me to a quest for roots in Judaism, and toward the fruition of my love for Christianity and Judaism, as well as the higher concepts of Democracy.
My slide for this is terribly disappointing- the colour has nearly bleached out of it. If anyone has the original work, it would be delightful to procure a more accurate record for this site. I believe in using this work to teach arts students, or to inspire others to use languages that we may otherwise lose.
owner unknown: (sold at same ratty auction, 1991)
"Where Are All Those Adoring Daring Boys?": Valentine Series, acrylic on canvas, by Susan Risk
Where Are All Those Adoring Daring Boys?
PUNK VALENTINE PERIOD
Moving from Toronto into a small town, I had felt that morality, and cultural concepts were old-fashioned in my area, even stodgy.
When I discovered the Victorian doll replica, I painted this, exactly, but to demonstrate the dirth of romantic intercourse that I felt was hurting my young heart so deeply!
In the Ottawa valley, a double standard still flagrantly bothered feminists at the time - women were supposed to accept the imposition of almost Victorian male superiorist standards. They were paid less, disrespected if they were "used goods", hammered by sadists, and treated (if they were poor women) like chattel (sometimes by the government).
With simple symbols, I made the roses and peonies that symbolize love and sensual pleasure unattainably above the stiff porcelain white doll. I made these bluish as well as the dolls' path through frigid snows. These devices serve to express the coldness and lack of humanity that existed for single parents in the divisive and old-fashioned hyper-capitalistic political climate that was the Valley of yesteryear.
Since I was a poor woman, I was doomed.
The blackberries are obviously women bleeding, women ovulating, lost to the snows, suggestive of womens' works, the fertility of which is frozen or lossied.
The prized women were the fluttering weaklings of yesteryear, monied perhaps, but- I will let the princesses' song from Camelot (a musical) speak their attitude for me...
"Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?
Where are all those adoring, daring boys?
Shall no knight ever sin for me,
Shall kith not kill their kin for me,
Oh, where are the virgins' joys?
Those most proverbial joys?
Where are the simple joys Of maidenhood?"
(the answer being that the men were missing in action underground,perhaps while killing kith and kin, or, more often saving the same from their "maidens", whose scheme it would be to kill someone off for their house)
owner unknown.(the art piece was further punked when a friend ran the canvas through with a coat hanger!). If you see it, I over-painted the canvas in bright green square letters, to resemble the security fad with which we were all stuck- witnessing fluoro markers in everything. My friend, who ran the canvas through, was a gorgeous woman, a cops' daughter. I wrote of her, lost to the small town, forced to serve law while accepting very ill social disrespect. In the hole I placed some iridescent acetate wrap, so that the effect became, sculpturally, a token of light, though glaring through the dullness and turgid fixations of law and right society.
detail of doll from Adoring, Daring Boys,acrylic on canvas: by Susan Risk
detail from a whimsical acrylic on canvas, entitled:
|Excercising His Male Imperative: Apple Blossoms in Sodom|
As you may well imagine, I have an inane sense of humour.
The philosophical concepts of Feminism being currently upon every womans' breath, in the eighties, and those of western religious tradition having become an entrenched, though often jeered at standard, my protest was toward the promiscuity and negligence of the men of the period.
Not only had I a poke (hah hah) at the old Biblical apple tree from which the serpent had so tempted Eve that she 'fell', to become human, but I also used the story of Sodom and Gomorrhah, also from the Old Testament of the Bible (or, Jewish Torah, which also, like the Latin word Bible, means book).
As people who grew up in the sexually liberated era of the sixties awoke to the reality of AIDS from promiscuous actions, those of us who were mystics noticed a trend in the dreams and desires of men and women as sexual entities.
We all loathed being treated as "sex objects", but as drugs and/or transcendental meditation coupled with a "shrinking planet", due to greater global awareness fomented by media endeavours, the stalking of private lives became a rude fact of life.
Some of us got to the point of having a laugh at our winding "love letters", as young bucks' sex fantasies came floating in around us, thick and fast, like so many avatars!
We imagined them to be winged creatures, as they had their will with us (yeah, in their dreams!!) - and, in our area, this was our own bawdy have-at, when we could not protest the intrusion into our bath time, yoga, or even sex lives.
With the advent of laser advancements, our privacy was dead, and , psychologically the sins of Sodom and Gomorrhah were upon us!
I still chuckle at my "birds 'n bees" image, and with relative freedom relish the wholesome side of modern sexual freedoms.
detail 1, Apple Blossoms: Valentine Series, acrylic on canvas by Susan Risk
"Thank You For the Gift of Life": Valentine Series, acrylic on canvas by Susan Risk
Thank You For the Gift of Life
PUNK VALENTINE SERIES
My Manx cat had given birth to a few good, healthy litters of kitens, much cherished by cat lovers in the community.
When my cat, Snubby, was due to give birth, she made sure to ask for my attention, a rarity, really. She needed support and encouragement.
I sketched the small kittens as they were born to my cat. It was my intention to make a Valentine painting about the joys that real, true life had given to me.
Watching a birth is a vital experience for a woman.
The vintage box is a statement that is defiant of commercial values.
I cherished the love that my cat and I felt for each other, and for our offspring.Whatever true love is, whatever the Creation has chosen to present as forms in this world, I love its Nature more than the small tokens of affection that I missed from the non-existent men in my life!
detail, "Gift of Life" (newborn kittens), by Susan Risk
Tragically, although there seemed to be no birth disruption, Snubbys' babies were stillborn.
Why did it have to be during the time I had chosen to celebrate her special love?
In my meditation, I sensed that someone unskilled had interfered with the kittens, using lasar scrutiny.
I wept profusely, and , truly, this is what used to happen to so many of the delicate, soft, loving special times, because of criminal stalking.
I only wish I could include into the work, evidence of what commercial service group interfered with their precious lives.
detail from "Pierre, mon cheri": acrylic on watercolour by Susan Risk
"Froglove in Appleton": Valentine Series: acrylic on canvas by Susan Risk
Froglove in Appleton
This was the first work in my Valentine series.
Unable to resist
"To Arturo": Valentine Series: pmt in grayscale, toned/ of acrylic on canvas by Susan Risk