Selective Focus: Sue Rauschenfels

Painter Sue Rauschenfels uses bold shapes and rich, colorful textures to define the people and objects in her watercolor and acrylic work. She has a show scheduled for April – July at the Duluth Art Institute Corridor Gallery. This week in Selective Focus, she gives a preview of the show and talks about the ideas that go into her work.

SR: I began painting fulltime in my home studio after retiring from the University of Minnesota Duluth Continuing Education department in 2009. My studies in Sociology, Criminology and Psychology influence my subject matter as does my love of nature and the outdoors.

Sisters 24 x 24 Acrylic/Mixed Media

Powerful female figures dominate my work as in my Sisterhood series, which will be on view April 30 through July in the Duluth Art Institutes’ Corridor Gallery. I was raised in a household with six sisters so grew to understand the bond between women as well as barriers that can prevent strong supportive relationships. My Sisterhood series challenges women to connect, “I paint my sister figures side by side, and they are often intertwined and overlapped. This reflects the everyday world for women as we journey to create pathways and opportunities for our sisters from all cultures to achieve gender equality – economically, politically, and socially.”

A Part of Me 22h x 18w Acrylic/Mixed Media

I enjoy working in mixed media with watercolors and acrylics building forms from organic shapes, vivid colors, and rich textures. My latest body of work Sisterhood depicts forward-facing figures which interact with viewers while standing together in solid compositions reflective of their communities. Stories of kinship and unity evolve from my work, encouraging one to reflect on their own relations. “Our Sisterhood culture needs to repair and to heal. We need to stand near each other. We must collaborate, lift each other up, unite efforts, show strength in numbers, share a common voice, be kind, empathetic and loyal to our Sisterhood to gain equality and to be heard.”

Proud Birches 30h x 40w Acrylic/Mixed Media

I also have a colorful and textural For the Love of Trees series shown recently at the Zeitgeist Arts Café and will be shown in April at the First Stage Gallery in Virginia, MN. I feel truly blessed to be able to do something I love almost every day. I am grateful to many instructors and mentors who have encouraged and influenced my art journey. We all learn from each other and to share and exchange our knowledge is the best way to meet friends and to develop skills and grow relationships.

Twilight 21h x 17w Watercolor/Mixed Media

I am a member of the Lake Superior Watercolor Society, Artists of MN and Arrowhead Artists. My work can be seen at 47 Degrees Gallery in Knife River, MN, First Stage Gallery in Virginia, MN and Art on the Planet Gallery in Superior, WI. Also, my work can also be seen on my Facebook page, Instagram page @suerauschenfelsartstudio and by appointment at my home studio. Email [email protected]

Blue Dawn 15 x 15 Acrylic/Mixed Media

Sister Dreams 18h x 24w Acrylic/Mixed Media

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