Susan Kraft

For the last decade or so, I've been working on abstract paintings with acrylic media and adding textured under-paintings, or removing paint with sandpaper and razors,  or most recently creating almost glass-smooth surfaces. Each series is a directly related to feelings I expressed through my work.

My most recent work, Break Through, is abstracted feelings of calm with strong overtones of geologic and landscape influences. This series is made with acrylic paints mixed into fluid media on flat panels of wood or anodized aluminum.  Because the media is fluid, I had to construct dust-free methods to paint on the floor or on a workbench.

I grew up in an artist’s house and started painting oil on canvas boards even before I entered the public school system. Over my lifetime, I’ve enjoyed exploring and working in many series, including portraits and landscapes. At this point in my career, I feel my deepest thoughts and feelings are best expressed in the abstract form where color theory and composition are now immersed in the creative process rather than planned and carefully laid out as I had done in the early days. 

The art in this website represents decades of inspiration.  You can see and read about my two most recent series, Break Through and Ethereals, on this website.


More details:
My first major shift came while I was running the Art21 gallery in Palo Alto. I changed from painting abstracts and back-lit trees because suddenly and unexpectedly, I saw burqas as a symbol that many of us use to cover our true identities.  I fell deeply into this series and didn't reemerge until the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, California featured the whole series in a courageous exhibition.
My second major shift was joining Women's Caucus for Art and gaining real-time history lessons of the current art world. I became the President of the Silicon Valley chapter for nine years and through this chapter, I organized dozens art events, some at national levels. 

Background:
I grew up in a small midwestern factory town with summers on the family farm in northern Wisconsin. I started an art major in early '79 then turned around and took a gap year 18 months later.  In 1981, I found my love of math and science studies which led to my life in Silicon Valley from 1985 until present.  Starting in  1997 I opened and ran public art venues and outreach programs, such as Artistic Adventure in Menlo Park, Art21 Gallery in Palo Alto, and a studio in the Chelsea Art Building in New York City. I also produced and hosted Talk Art, a cable television show.

Today, I paint in my an art studio, designed and built inside my home.
     -----  Susan Kraft