Beth Surdut, Visual Storyteller
Art for the Mind and Body
12/12/2016 - 01/08/2017
I have the good fortune to be able to express verbally and visually what swirls and glimmers in and out of me. What comes of experiencing nature betters me and I am embraced and expanded by the particulars. And I get to share that with you through my work as an award-winning environmental artist, glass and textile designer, writer and creator of the illustrated nature NPR radio series Art of Paying Attention.
The part of me that loves detail--knowing the exact conformation and coloration of feather and petal, genus and species--picks up pencils and pens to render what qualifies as scientific illustration, although when I began the art and true stories of Listening to Raven, I thought I was just paying attention to individual forms and personalities of those tricksters.
There are places—a moss-covered forest trail, a dappled stream, a shadowed slot canyon, an expansive night sky-- that invite me to walk in and lose my edges until they shimmer as I become part each element. There is art that does the same and beckons me to employ jewel-toned materials—dyes on silk, large stained glass windows, painted or mosaic murals that glitter like the Milky Way.
Every walk, paddle, buzz, rustle, call, chirp, and squeak informs my creativity. Just as we take in and process information differently, so do my experiences translate differently even within my own brain and subsequent output as an artist and writer.