arless day + susan mcalister

arless day

mountains, gardens & private rooms 


susan mcalister

lost & in paradise

september 11 – october 31, 2015

opening reception with arless + susan

artist’s talk 7 pm


friday, september 11

6 to 8 pm

september 11 – october 31, 2015



when I did my first collage paintings back in 1988 i never dreamed what an impact it would have on my art and my life. searching through books, magazines and my own photographs give direction to every piece. the process of creating unique landscapes and interiors continue to keep my work fresh and exciting to do. breathing art in and breathing it out, through torn pages and paint has been timeless for me. in some ways, most of my time in this life has gone into all those collaged and painted pieces.

in this recent group of collage paintings, i'm approaching each piece with more paint, to give the surface a fresh looseness. trying to find the right balance of all I've learned over the past twenty -seven years of doing collage and gouache paintings.

this exhibition is filled with mountain landscapes that capture a moment in time.  the painterly mountains , winter's view and  deck chairs give a presence to the carolinas, a place i've called home for over twenty-five years. part of this year’s exhibition are gardens throughout the world, which are revealed in palace of granada , spring  and japanese lotus.  private rooms that look out on elephants in the african plains to a horse relaxing in front of a tudor estate . these interior/exterior landscapes such as african breezes , tudor estate and southern view always take you to a dreamlike setting.   interiors such as tiger sanctuary, daylight and editors' place show a distinctive modern space with painterly brushstrokes.

 doing art for more than forty years has always been a wonderful journey for me and this body of work represents this continued journey God has blessed me to create.--arless day 2015



 ‘lost & in paradise’ is rooted in a love of land and attraction to beauty. through the genre of landscape, i explore what it means to be human in this exquisite, unpredictable world. having grown up among rural virginia’s views and vistas, i’ve always identified with places where tamed sophistication intersects with wild, tangled nature.

 i am interested in challenging the viewer’s sense of place and time by combining the imagined and the real, abstraction and representation. what starts as a place just beyond the fence line unfolds into a moment in a metaphorical paradise. i introduce human presence, at first unseen, through abstract form and fleshy color. matisse, gauguin, and cecily brown are constant inspirations.

 the materials are central to each painting. i combine layers of paint, wax, marble dust, dirt and graphite to simultaneously construct and deconstruct. i have an affinity for mark-making and the freedom of the abstract expressionists. i allow each work to resolve at different levels of abstraction with the ultimate goal of luring the viewer into a personal sense of place and experience.

the artist resides in charlotte, nc. she also spends time in south carolina’s low country, virginia’s hunt country and montana’s ruby river valley.--susan mcalister, 2015