Category Archives: Art in Analog

Art in Analog – Susan Springer Anderson

When I was in New York last year, I also got a change to catch up with my second cousin (first cousin once removed?  My mom is cousins with her dad) Susan Springer Anderson.  We hadn’t seen each other since a Springer family reunion at my childhood home in Wisconsin in 1990 (I think!).  I dug through all the family pictures looking for the one of us as twins (Due to being second cousins we looked very similar to each other as 10 year-old girls.  And I always had wanted a twin so I probably begged her relentlessly to wear a matching outfit and pretend with me.)  This was the only thing I found — taken by yours truly, this is an illustration of how horrible I am with a camera.
Yep, I took that picture on an angle, trying to be all artistic or something. 

Anyways, back to the story at hand.  JT and I met up with Susan at the Candle Cafe in NY.  (Turns out my “twin” is also a vegetarian like me!)  I found out she is up to some pretty awesome things.  Besides having the guts to move to the Big Apple and make it work, she is also an artist! 

Check out more of her work at her blog, Delicate Utility.  I love the 3D armatures with found plant materials (above).

Although I will admit this one kind of gives me the willies, I love seeing the process and work that goes into Susan’s pieces.

The dresses are my favorite . . . .

The one on the left (above) is made of coffee filters and the other is the New York Times.  Project Runway anyone?

Here’s my “Project Runway” moment:

Me and my co-workers crafted the front outfit for the International Interior Designers Association “Unravel” fashion show.  It’s made out of all Haworth furniture parts and pieces.  Enough with amateur hour — back to Susan.

She’s on Etsy as well.  Oh how I love Etsy.  Oh the hours I spend looking at the wonderous assortment of vintage scarves, vintage shoes and delightful artwork.  (What can I say, I have very specific tastes.)

I pulled a few things to show from Susan’s current Etsy shop.  Obviously I have teal/turquoise on the brain . . . this Gloria journal is great.  I always have a little journal with me to jot down things when I’m out and to keep all my measurements and such in. 

Here’s what I’m sporting right now — a free paper one from the latest NeoTini (design trade show in STL).  Even though I use my iPhone for a lot of things, I still need to physically write things down as well.  I can’t seem to let go of that. (Maybe because it’s so satifying when you cross something off the list?)


Although I think the Gloria would be a much more stylish option, don’t you?

I think this next creation might go on my wish/covet list.  I think the artwork that hangs in one’s home needs to have special meaning for its owner.  I think the fact that my “twin” has created something so unique would make it special to me.  Plus the colors and textures are sophisticated and read as both muted and fresh at the same time. 
JT if you’re reading this, we need some more anniversary artwork!  I think that sounds like a great tradition to keep going. 

Thanks to Susan for a) humoring me and dressing up like my twin back in the day and allowing me to blab all about it on the interwebs and b) for letting me use all these images.  I wish her continued success but know that with her talent it will come regardless of any wishes.  Cheers!

Our First Art

One of my favorite things about visiting a new place is seeing what kind of art museum(s) they have to check out (much to the chagrin of my husband, who does love art but more of the aural variety).  Visual inspiration is all around.  Once JT and I established our house, I began looking for some visual inspiration we could bring into our lives and call our own. 

JT and I have a very small (and hopefully growing) art collection.  Our first real art purchase is the ink abstract piece that hangs in the dining nook right now.  (I say right now because I’m thinking about rearranging and creating an art wall.  We’ll see.)  It is titled “I Am With You Always” by Melanie Blunk Dolan.

Not only do I love love love the color palette, the name of the piece itself also really speaks to me.  Having lost my father over 7 years ago, this is a bittersweet reminder to me that I have the best guardian angel a girl can have.  
It is just perfect in the mat and frame that Melanie delivered it in.  However the protective acrylic makes it hard to photograph well (not that I have ever taken such great photographs to start with . . . )  We used to have Johnny Cash print hanging in that spot but that meant that one of the first things you saw upon entering our home was Johnny Cash flipping you off, so he moved his vulgar self to the music room where he is much more appreciated.

When I started this post, I wanted to include more information about the artist. JT and I first saw her abstract ink collection displayed at Murdoch Perk (home of the best spiced mocha ever).  But that was over two years ago and her work was only on a display for a month (after which JT purchased “I Am With You Always” as an anniversary gift, so sweet.)   I jumped around the inter-webs, my constant source of factoids, and came across the blog of fellow St. Louisan  Neil E. Das.  His pictures make me want to cry – tears of jealousy and marvel at being able to take such beautiful beautiful pictures while I fight a losing battle against my camera every day.  Along with breath-taking pictures and insightful writing and haikus, there was also the following artist statement by Melanie.

Artist Statement

Creating ink abstracts is liberating. These abstracts released from within have given me renewed freedom and enthusiasm for life. I believe an artistic talent lies dormant in each of us; my desire is for others to experience through the color and flow of my work a sense of freedom and joy that leads to the discovery of one’s own talent.

Abstract inks are surprises–like life. Each painting is a gift with an unpredictable fusion of color. Sometimes the colors blend; sometimes a color overshadows another; and at other times one color graciously moves aside making room for a passer-by. Life, like the ink, asks me to stay in the moment accepting that I am not in control. Once I surrender, an unforeseen creation emerges.

My hope is that you will be inspired by my work. Comments are always welcome: mendee314@sbcglobal.net

I agree with Melanie — there is a creative person inside of each of us.  What we choose to do with that creative self is different for everyone.  I am lucky to use my creativity daily both in my job and in tinkering with things in our home and then boring the internet with all the details.  Good times.  I also have a strong appreciation for the creativity of others and I love to be surrounded by beautiful, visual things.  That’s why I’m so glad we stumbled upon Melanie’s work and wanted to share it with everyone.  To me, that’s the way to bring art into your life — find something that speaks to you, whether through the colors, shapes or composition and it will always be at home where you are.

Happy Monday — have a great week inter-webs!