I begin my paintings or collage work by painting out the white of the canvas…with the color orange. Orange is a favorite color and has a way of shining through the various layers. I then create marks or lines using oil pastel, pencil or chalk to give direction. This background grounds me.

I work intuitively responding to the color, texture and space of the canvas. I experiment with layers of acrylic paint and glazes. Exposing and re-exposing these layers, using various tools and methods to apply and scrape the paint onto the canvas, leads me onto a journey, a story….

When working on a collage I incorporate found objects, ephemera and various types of paper into the piece.

Often times it seems as though the brush is leading me…that the painting already exists and wants to me follow the course…to listen.

My paintings are colorful abstracts. The work is my statement. The interpretation is yours!


Susan Proehl, Artist, Sebastopol, CASusan Proehl was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She has been a professional photographer for the past 40 years and an artist forever.  She has worked in various mediums including oils, pottery, batik, art rubber stamps and photography.  These mediums have influenced and found their way into her abstract and mixed media collage work.

For the past few years she has concentrated on abstract painting and collage.  The photography has been integrated into the abstract with the colors, layers and textures of these different media  leading her onto a new path.

She works with acrylic paints, gel mediums, pencil, found objects and canvas.  Her colors are bright–her work is nonrepresentational.  She creates a place, a mystery in the work itself, evoking an emotional connection to the viewer.  She constructs these  places/spaces in flat or bright colors defined by lines of color or pencil….

Susan lives in Sebastopol, CA with her husband Steve, an Aerial photographer.

Susan can also be visited at her studio by appointment: email…

Susan Proehl - Artist