Gold in my veins

Thank you for hanging in there with me as I’ve shared the (one month) Assisi adventure for the past two months!

Meanwhile in the month of October, my Artful Muse classes have resumed along with new event sketch-ventures, and a new series of paintings is being birthed.  Lots to get caught up on here!

But first, people have been asking me how the residency has effected my art.  As yet that remains to be seen, but in the spirit of disclosure I will offer one of the themes that has been working on me.


class demo:  acrylic inks and gold paint, molding paste texture, fabric collage on w/c paper

It never comes at once but accumulates in drifts of startling recognition.

I have been here before. My feet have walked on these stones.  My hands have made their way across these marble folds and fissures.  I’ve leaned out this window to watch my lover blow me a kiss, and locked this door against invaders. 

I have been here before, and my broom has swept these cobbles, and my hands have formed loaves to slide into stone ovens.  Now when I walk these streets, the stones speak to me of all this and more.

It comes with the territory of spending time in medieval towns with their elaborate churches and golden haloed saints. It still lingers in my consciousness the desire to steal the gold and convert it into something that has meaning today. This piece was a remnant of something I painted in Italy, a playful way to digest more of the experience. The netting was something I found in the studio there and the gold paint, one of my purchases in an Italian art store.


While in Italy I confined my artmaking to my travel sketchbooks and anything that felt playful and free. Acrylic inks became my passion because I could use the dropper to draw.  Favorite colors:  Daler Rowney’s Antelope Brown, Sepia and Indigo. I would make accordian “books” with watercolor paper cut and glued together in strips, and draw from memory and imagination in ink, not stopping until the whole strip was finished.

The following piece was done after I got home, and still wanted to play with my inks.


Acrylic inks and postcard collage on w/c paper

Is it only the saints who can redeem us?  Or can we also look to the leaves that cast their own golden glow at sunset, that wend their way across our paths and into our food, and die a silent death, and come to us again as glorious buds and shoots? Are they not enough to remind us of resurrection?

. . .and find a way to weave some postcard art into the design (using an exacto knife).


One particularly playful afternoon in Italy I decided to doodle, paint and collage my way through the narrow scraps of paper left after making the wider “book”.  Using some pieces of gold leafed paper and painted netting in combination with  my gouache paints, it became a reminder of the places I’d visited – not from sketches or pictures, but imagination. My husband Bob added the beautiful book binding after I got home.


Next: a month of sketches around town – rose garden and tea leaves and music, Healdsburg plaza, and “Capturing Chaos” with Suhita at the Sausalito Ferry!



  1. Susan, these pieces are so rich! What an amazing experience you’ve had and love seeing how you are starting to translate it. Enjoyed reading all your travel entries very much. Thanks for sharing.


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