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B. 1957


Susan Coley’s work is rooted in intuition and based on methods of surrealist automatism and abstract expressionism. As an abstract painter she works in a variety of different materials to invoke the subconscious mind through figural forms, geometries, landscapes, fields of color and private calligraphic languages. Her paintings are landscapes that may feel familiar: not those that are seen with the naked eye but felt as something familiar and recognizable, they are about the layer below consciousness and making it visible. 


My work is intuitive and process driven. I work across multiple mediums, including oil, acrylic, collage, and mixed media. Often, I layer materials — add, remove, and work over, until the image begins to emerge. Each layer informs the next. My process has become an organic and intuitive undertaking, a kind of surrender and meditation. I do not know ahead of time what the painting will be; it becomes known slowly through exploration, experimentation, dialogue, and physicality. In my experience, painting and the art making process is essentially about trust, at its core. Trusting in the process, and trusting in yourself, your instincts and intuition will guide you on the journey. Trust creates dialogue, with the canvas, the materials, and the moment. When this type of presence is found, the subconscious mind begins to speak. I work with color, line, and form and though the work may be abstract in nature, it often has figurative and landscape elements. These elements are not directly seen or observed, rather they are internal, and of the spirit. They are about connecting to the layer below consciousness -- and making it visible. 

Coley attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and holds a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University. She currently lives and works in Cambridge, MA. 

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