Artist Profile: Susan Connery

Maine artist Susan Connery devotes her talents to creating useful, beautiful floorcloths. We spoke with her about her background, the process and her clientele.

 

Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  What has led to your interest in painted canvas floorcloths?

SC:  I started thinking about floorcloths at least 25 years ago. Every couple of years I would think to myself, “Oh, I want to do that one day…” I finally told myself that if I was going to make floorcloths, I better start now.

 

Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

My 1st floorcloth came off my table in 2013. I use my 30 years of interior custom house painting experience, from working for myself dba The Wall Works, and my exposure to all kinds of designs in wallpapers and fabrics that I’ve hung. My artist self needed an outlet that would take over my paint work, provide income and keep me creating and entertained with fun work.

 

Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Floorcloths cover it all. Literally, and no pun intended. They allow me to pay attention to detail, which I love doing, from precision cutting my mitre corners to engineering and painting the design. I fall in love with each mat that comes off my table. It’s also so important to me that floorcloths are durable and a useable art form that can last many years. Lastly, I love them because they are a folk art, and one of many ways in the past that women could brighten, add color and functionality to their homes.

 

Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How and why do I share your work as it’s being made?

SC:  I love this part! I can start with an idea, but the floorcloth unveils itself as it’s happening. It’s so exciting to watch it grow and develop, change and morph into beauty and perfection. My clients become more personally attached to this piece of art they’ve ordered as they can watch it develop.

 

Work in Progress: Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

This also allows them to give me feedback for any changes they may want to make with the colors or design. By posting photos that show the floorcloth progressing on my Facebook page and website, the community shares in the process, and it creates the sense that they are watching an artist at work.

 

Work in Progress: Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  Do I seek commission work and custom jobs?

SC:  Both, absolutely! I have a large clientele list from my years dba The Wall Works, and I’ve worked with a number of decorators and designers, who can help zero in on a desired finish. My inventory of floorcloths are available for sale, but I also see that custom work could make up a large part of what I produce.

 

Work in Progress: Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

While it can be tricky for someone to create a design from scratch, they may already have some special patterns they love and would want to see on a mat. I just finished two mats that were patterned from a stunning gift wrapping paper, and the one on my table now is based on a William Morris wallpaper.

 

Work in Progress: Floorcloth by artist Susan Connery. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I’m also an herbalist and was recently sitting in a beautiful big patch of red clover, picking for a tea I make. I thought, “I’ve got to paint clover on a floorcloth!” I love helping a client visualize the possibilities, what to see on a mat: the colors, the design, the shape and how and where it will be used. People love art and creating useable art is what I love.

 

 

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