Artist Profile: Sudie Rakusin

Artist Sudie Rakusin presents a stunning portfolio, with images that offer deeper meaning. She talks about influences and her mission.

 

"Tonight As I Stand Inside the Rain - Bob Dylan" by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“Tonight As I Stand Inside the Rain – Bob Dylan” (closed) by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

ABI:  You have learned many techniques and the use of different mediums. How does this express your approach as an artist?

SR:  I’m really curious. Learning new techniques propels me into worlds of creating that I have not been in before. Although the approaches are varied within my work, there is a voice and style, a certain combination of line and pattern that is present and remains consistent.

 

"Tonight As I Stand Inside the Rain - Bob Dylan" (open) by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“Tonight As I Stand Inside the Rain – Bob Dylan” (open) by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

As long as I’m here, I want to stay wide open and continue learning. I want to be appreciative of what I feel is beautiful, to stay inquisitive and never limit my creativity. For instance, I created pieces I refer to as Altars. They have hinges and handles. Two doors protect an image within. I saw the doors as large expanses of color and line, so I began to explore the world of abstract art.

 

"Time moves in one direction memory in another" by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“Time moves in one direction memory in another – William Gibson” by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

The doors are covered with a textured, free form abstract painting created with cold wax and oil paint, dominated by line work. The piece is ornamented with papier-mâché sculpture and beadwork. Open the doors and revealed are worn frescos of women in surreal environments – floating fruit, rising hair, falling rain. In my subsequent body of work I continued to explore this technique. Using a palette knife, I built up thick textures, piled color upon color on wood panel and then cut through it all with line work.

 

"Trust in the Infinite to Answer Your Deepest Prayers in the Darkest Times" by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“Trust in the Infinite to Answer Your Deepest Prayers in the Darkest Times – Snatam Kaur” by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

I am a visual artist, sculptor, children’s book author of the Dear Savannah Blue series, and have been the illustrator for many established authors including Mary Daly, Carolyn Gage and Patricia Monaghan. My visual artwork involves a variety of materials: oil paints, cold wax, pen and ink, papier-mâché, beadwork and mixed media. I am the owner of Winged Willow Press publishing company where I use my original paintings and drawings to create coloring books, divination cards, illustrated journals and more. I have also created the Unwind Time coloring app for iPad, which features my illustrations.

 

"The More You Go Against Your Nature, the More You will Know It, Hear Me Heaven" by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“The More You Go Against Your Nature, the More You will Know It. Hear Me Heaven! – Djuna Barnes” by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

ABI:  What inspired your collection that features imagery of women and fantastical animals?

Much of my artwork features women and animals in surreal and abstract settings. They are enhanced with texture, pattern and beadwork. My creations reach into my imagination and my desire to create scenes that exist in an extraordinary world. This imagery pulls on my love of the female form, my wonder at the intelligence and physical beauty of animals and the connection, communication and understanding between these two.

 

"The Time Between No Longer and Not Yet - Joan Borysenko" by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“The Time Between No Longer and Not Yet – Joan Borysenko” by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

Feminism has had a strong effect on my work. I realized that the oppression was not only of women, but included the abuse and neglect of animals and the earth. I began questioning the hierarchy of all living things, wondering why most humans believe they are superior to animals and nature. From these thoughts I began to create images that revealed a unique world of my making, a world where nature is treated with deference, where women and animals live out their own purpose. Within this world there is no hierarchy, only equality and mutual respect.

 

"Imbroglio" by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

“Imbroglio” by Sudie Rakusin, mixed media

 

ABI:  How has your love and respect for the welfare of animals been manifested?

I am involved with supporting major animal conservation efforts in the world through the Wildlife Conservation Network. I regularly attend conferences that keep me updated on the current status of wildlife. I have traveled to Africa and experienced firsthand how those on the frontlines are working to preserve, protect and create a safe environment for animals to live within. It is an honor to know these people and be aware of the incredible work they are doing.

 

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