Susan Gossling Walters
Tell us about what you're currently working on.
I've been in love with ink and paper since I could hold a pen, so I write - journals, poems, letters, and I print - blocks, stamps, things found in nature. My artwork is shoehorned in between my life as a professional commuter - 60 miles a day, and a mom, wife and steward of a sweet hillside on the Piedmont called the Hereford Zone and home to Prettyboy Reservoir and other magical places. Discovered Gelli printing courtesy of YouTube. Fantastic medium that works for me and my kitchen table. I live in a fantasy land curated in my head and now on paper.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
When the stay-at-home order came in I was already exploring the idea of home in my prints. It was a meditation on what home means to me, places that are special to me, a dream of living at the beach. Becoming a recent ‘empty nester’ I am also looking ahead when we will leave our current home to go to a yet undetermined place. That undetermined part of the story makes a unique connection with COVID-19. In reality, this is giving me more time. Now, off my hamster wheel of commuting, I am free to pursue others ideas that come up while I am printing and more time to walk in the woods where nature is jumping out to me saying ‘print me’. Isolation is incubation.
How do you think the creative process can help us confront our "new" reality?
When I am doing any art, it puts me in a zone where time is suspended and that’s freeing. It’s the same feeling no matter what my age. My anxiety, which actually has increased with age, is diminished. In the end, I have a tangible creation that connects me to the creative plane and gives me a certain comfort while re-calibrating my day to day.
The other piece about Made in Isolation is the community it has created. We’re all filtering this remarkable, historic, prolonged moment of COVID-19 through a creative lens and with a wide set of tools and perspectives. To be able to share that with each other and with anyone who wants to drop in, is truly a treasure in this storm.
Susan Walters is an artist living in Baltimore. See more of her work here.