We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Frazier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My goal of establishing my own business as an artist in 1990 was to create an environment where I could express myself as a Contemplative Artist, teaching oil pastel and water-mixable oil painting classes in my own studio and at retreat centers. My intention was and continues to be to integrate my studio time with my philosophical experience to create a philosophical/meditative approach to art making. After working in Denver Colorado at KHOW Radio in the 1970’s and Frontier Airlines in the 1980’s, I decided to leave the corporate world and establish a new life doing what I have always wanted to be: an artist. In 1986, I attended Denver University and then transferred to the University of Colorado in Boulder to earn a BA Degree in Studio Arts in 1989. I already had earned a BA Degree in Philosophy with Honors in 1965 at Lake Erie College in Painesville Ohio and had done graduate work at the University of Virginia Graduate School towards a Masters in Philosophy. I knew how to run a business from my corporate experience, how to promote my business from my radio promotional experience and how to manage my time. I created the perfect business for myself providing the environment of self employment and creative fulfillment. I named my business after myself, Suzanne Frazier, to encompass all my creative activities as oil painter, art teacher, contemplative art retreat leader, promotions expert and writer.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
For me, art is a vehicle for exploring the exterior and interior landscape of our existence on this planet. Viewing the world from a meditative practice, I call myself a Contemplative Artist. To me, contemplative art is “the product of creative expression rising from the pure joy of creating, grounded in a meditative connection to the radiance and perfection of spirit known only through one’s experience of being fully human”. During a contemplative experience one does not observe anything specific but rather a feeling emerges from the meditation. Likewise, I choose to create work that does not refer to any specific location or time. I choose instead to invite the viewer into my meditation of my collected emotional responses from residing for forty-eight years in Colorado. Each painting lives in its own place and time. It breathes on it’s own, free from a particular association, reflecting back to the art appreciator a new way of seeing. The painting changes as the viewer breathes in detail, subtleties of shape, and nuance of color. Then the painting breathes back to the viewer. A relationship ensues. The painting process begins with an application of oil paint with a pallet knife. Then adding layer upon layer of color until the subtleties of color emerge, creating unique hues to reveal a particular mood. Using images that are familiar from the environment to express in a non-verbal manner my life experience, I invite art appreciators to gaze, without labels, into my shared contemplation. In the past few years I have created two series of paintings that I have exhibited at The Dairy Center for Art in Boulder Colorado and D’art Gallery in Denver, Colorado: “Boketto” – “Boketto” is a Japanese word for the concept of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking. The twelve paintings in this series portray images that are familiar from the environment to express in a non-verbal manner my life experience, that I invite art appreciators to gaze, without labels, into my shared contemplation. “Spirit Light” – Twelve paintings make up this series centered around an exploration of the magnificent morning light just before sunrise when stillness permeates the landscape. In many religious traditions, sunrise is a time of prayer and quiet reflection. A time of transformation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Having lived in Colorado since 1972, I’ve spent time in Denver, Boulder, Crestone and Longmont. My life experience in Colorado is rather wide from hiking in the mountains, skiing at most every ski area in Colorado, and enjoying restaurants all over the state. If I had a week to share my love of Colorado, we would make a road trip to the San Luis Valley to experience the Spiritual Centers in Crestone, the San Dunes and the immense beautiful valley that astronauts can see with the naked eye from space. At night I would insist we stay up late to see the stars and Milky Way overhead above the valley floor. Then we would head to Vail and Aspen to enjoy the good restaurants, skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer, listening to good music under the stars. Then we would drive a circle trip through Granby, Grand Lake (headwaters of the Colorado River) and through Rocky Mountain National Park. We would probably sit on the front porch of the Stanley Hotel and take in the beauty which I have done so many times. In Denver, we would definitely take advantage of the Art Walk on Friday Night on Santa Fe Drive, in Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, especially D’art Gallery, where I show my work, enjoying the art with other art appreciators. We would then move to the Golden Triangle and LoDo to see other art galleries and finish up at the Denver Art Museum.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to all the women artists who have come before me, are creating right now and will create in the future. So many un-named women who have been creating fine art over the centuries, and especially to role models, who have been recognized by our culture, Georgia O’Keeffe, Anges Martin, Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Hilma af Klint, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Jenny Holzer, Louise Nevelson, Käthe Kollwitz, Alice Neel, Kay Miller and art critic Lucy Lippard. I have been deeply influenced by these women and more.
https://contemplativeart.blogspot.com https://business.google.com/site/l/15130997683061166439 https://www.pinterest.com/contempart/ https://dartgallery.org/#/865004006353/