Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ntozake Shange

Working with poets is an amazing experience.  
They take me to places with language and sound
I don't normally travel.  They open mountain tops 
and ancient caves with magical vowels, 
profound insight, and deep emotions (I don't
know how else to explain their genius).
Ntozake Shange discussing her poem "i live in music"
 Even though most of my time with Ntozake Shange
was in the studio, working on art projects,
doing a live show was a dream come true. 
Watching Ntozake Shange perform
 In 2014, I hope to work with more poets
on artist's books and printmaking projects.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The mind

New linocut for upcoming project exploring the human condition
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven hell, a hell heaven.
John Milton, Paradise Lost

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays

Hoping your holidays are merry and joyous!
Christmas in my neighborhood
Photo of my neighborhood, December 2013
Baltimore, Maryland

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nyx with concentric circles

Classical mythology
  In classical Greek mythology Nyx was a 
primeval goddess 
and the symbol of night.  
Nyx by Suzanne Coley
4" x 5.75" hand-pulled print of Nyx by Suzanne Coley
Daughter of Chaos, Nyx is found in the shadows of the world.
I first read about her in Hesiod's Theogony, the epic poem about
the birth of the gods (theogony) and the world (cosmogony).

In line 123, Hesiod writes, "Chaos gave birth to Erebos
and black Night (Nyx)".  Later, in line 125, Nyx gives
birth to Ether and Day.  Light is created out of darkness can
also be read as day follows night much as
awakening follows sleep.

It is said that muses sing during the night hours to Nyx.
Nyx by Suzanne Coley
detail of Nyx by Suzanne Coley

For me, nighttime is a time for inspiration. 
I create my most compelling work when 
all is sleeping and still.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Abstract Art

When my wall of ideas becomes full,

Wall of ideas by Suzanne Coley
My wall of ideas and drawings, December 19, 2013 
 I like to paint big and abstract.
Abstract art by Suzanne Coley
Acrylic and gold leaf on cotton paper by Suzanne Coley
I relate more to the way mathematicians think of abstraction: 
Abstraction by Suzanne Coley
Large abstract paintings on paper hanging in a collector's home
a way to see unexpected connections and 
common features in seemingly unrelated objects;
abstract paintings by Suzanne Coley
remove the clutter of unnecessary details to expose the underlying 
large abstract art by Suzanne Coley
Centered by Suzanne Coley
truth with crisp precision.  

Monday, December 16, 2013

Back to Basics

The more research I do, the more
important my experiments
handmade paper with marks
in Baltimore with handmade papers are.

The impressions, 
the marks,
the recycled papers, 
the pigments,
the moulds,
the deckles,
making old -- new.

I would love to publish a book
about my handmade paper experiments
and results.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


in Pittsburgh
Life is a Journey by Suzanne Coley
Life is a journey, 2013 Suzanne Coley
Been busy 15  hours a day on research
for my upcoming book project.  I have only
five weeks to complete the project.  Four weeks
on research and drawings.  One week to make three books.

Andy Warhol studied here and it is an amazing feeling
when I find an old art book with the 
Carnegie Institute of Technology stamp.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fragile moments, Part I

Five doctors enter the small hospital room in total
silence.  Lief knows something is wrong.  
Fragile moments by Suzanne Coley
Tangle #125, from 2002 drawings
One flips on the large x-ray light in front of her and 
expertly places five 8"x11" black films up for all to see.
  They look at Lief and begin talking.  At least she thinks they are
talking because their lips are moving, but her mind is 
fixated on the films. 
Fragile moments by Suzanne Coley
Tangle #126, from 2002 drawings
Yes, those must be Lief's x-rays because they are 
talking to her and she is the only patient in the room.
"Neuropathology, neurons, yes, cytoplasm.
Aggressive. The photons.  Mutating cells.
No need.  Worry is good.  Good we caught cells.
Biopsy in 30.  Days.  Pathology report...
Fragile Moments by Suzanne Coley
Tangle #325 from 2009 drawings
Are you okay?  Escort? Someone? Call? 
Here is a tissue."
Fragile Moments by Suzanne Coley
Tangle #452 from 2011 drawings
Lief takes the tissue.  She is not sure when the tears began to roll
down her cheeks, or when she stood up, grabbed an x-ray
and began to look at it more closely.  "Insurance," was
all she could mutter.

*Fragile moments is based on my battle with cancer as well as a close family member's.  All drawings are original ink and graphite "tangles" I created in an attempt to understand and come to terms with my "mutating cells."  A few weeks ago, I began to incorporate these drawings into a printmaking and book art project that I hope will someday get published.  
by Suzanne Coley

Goddess of Fire

Suzanne Coley artist's book
I finished the accordion book with monoprints
I blogged about on November 18 & 19.
Suzanne Coley artist's book
 I named her Hestia, Goddess of the family hearth.
Textured red cover by Suzanne Coley
I painted the edges and added more monoprints and 
gold metal accents.  
Red accordion book by Suzanne Coley

Fiery red book channels warmth.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


I used to hate it.
Ideas and images would keep me awake until 3am.  
 Then when I finally fell asleep, I would dream of art.
 Now I embrace it.
Lavender Dreams, Inspired by the shadows of Da Vinci's warrior drawing.
When the images come, I create a small book or design

and fall asleep.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

She left with

three children and a dream.  

She arrived with nothing but memories. 
The Refugee, monoprint, Dec. 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

I (heart) Milton Glaser

1977, the year 
advertisements kicked off with a bang!
The year I realized art is not just for walls
and museums: It can be part of life.
Both a song and logo, everyone in NYC
was singing the song on the buses,
on the trains, in my school and in the streets.

The logo was designed by 
graphic designer extraordinaire 
and his iconic I (heart) New York
was on stickers, posters, signs, T-shirts,
mugs, pencils, my notebook -- everywhere.
I still remember Stephanie Mills
and the cast of the Broadway musical 
The Wiz singing the song and dancing!
Milton Glaser also designed the 
fabulous poster for The Wiz.

My favorite image by Milton Glaser was created in 1966
when he was with Push Pin Studios.  Here it is:
Opera News, 1966,  Milton Glaser, suzannecoleyblog
This stylized pen-and-ink design was for the opera Aida.
(I should probably frame it, but I love to touch it and read the magazine.)

Born and raised in New York City, Milton Glaser studied
illustration, painting and typography at Cooper Union (1948-51).
After graduating, he moved to Italy for two years and worked at the
Accademia di Belle Arti, Bologna under Giorgio Morandi.
 In 1954 he co-founded Push Pin Studios along with three of his
fellow Cooper grads.  From the 1960s through the mid-1970s
Push Pin graphics dominated advertising and the print media.

The Museum of Modern Art wrote, "Glaser introduced an eclectic,
 narrative style full of historical references that amalgamated
 illustration with vintage typography."

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Come not

when I am dead
Polaroid transfer 669 film (discontinued)
Come not when I am dead,
To drop thy foolish tears upon my grave,
To trample round my fallen head,
And vex the unhappy dust thou wouldst not save.
There let the wind sweep and the plover cry;
But thou, go by.

Child, if it were thine error or thy crime
I care no longer, being all unblest:
Wed whom thou wilt, but I am sick of Time,
And I desire to rest.
Pass on, weak heart, and leave me where I lie:
Go by, go by.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
Love Poems, page 16

Featured Post

Aesthetics and Technology