Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery hosts “Keeping Our Heads Above Water”, paintings by Leverett artist Susan Valentine, January 18th through February 25th.

Late this past summer, Susan acquired a kayak. She explains:

“Leverett Pond is a tiny walk from my studio. On the pond, I was inspired to slow down. I spent many a day on the water’s surface, tooling around and being nurtured by the views, the creatures, the plant life. 

These vertical canvases arose from those experiences. I used my phone for reference photos… Inspiration for the format of these paintings. I liked the way this vertical view led me from the plant life below my boat all the way to the sky. Some of these paintings are collaged interpretations and others are representative of what I really saw.

Since November 8th I have been in a state of confusion/depression. I’ve been transported to the promise of a nation I don’t recognize, force fed by a faction which voted, in desperation, humanity’s dark side. I found myself locked in a downward spiral; feeling helpless and useless. Feeling less than my usual self and far less than contented.

Nevertheless, I step up to the canvas again and again. Persistence pays off. November was a tough month. By December, though, I found that my heart had lifted a touch… And once again I began to be nurtured by the act of painting pictures. There is power in making one’s own happiness and I began to feel more positive, more awake and more myself.

I hope that something of the ease I find in this process is transmitted to the viewer. And out of that respite, activists may return to the job at hand more effectively, renewed by having spent some time with my first summer on the pond.”

Susan’s intention is this exhibit be a respite from what is likely the most important issue of our political/social times. She’d like people to feel that they’re in good company here in the valley, and that the job ahead of us is paramount but we need to take care of ourselves to be effective.

A reception will be held on Thursday, February 2nd, in conjunction with Amherst Arts Night Plus, from 5pm to 8pm.

About Susan Valentine
Susan studied first graphic design, then painting at Greenfield Community College. She has held studio space at Leverett Crafts & Arts in Leverett since 2013 and very much enjoys the support of the community of artists there. Her work has been in numerous group and solo shows in western Massachusetts since 2012. www.susanvalentineart.com