Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sue Zimmerman -- Southwest Louisiana Watercolorist

As all my regular readers know, I love the lake area arts scene. One of my favorite local artists is watercolorist Sue Zimmerman. 

Sue and her friend and photographer Corene Soileau (pronounced swallow, for my non-Louisiana readers) currently have a collaborative show at the Art Associates Gallery inside the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St. Zimmerman chose several of Soileau's photos and painted corresponding pieces inspired by the photos. If you haven't yet seen the show, hurry to Central School! Tomorrow is the last day of the display. A closing reception is open to the public Friday May 2 from 5-8 PM. 

I contacted Zimmerman with a few questions and she graciously replied.

Me: How did you get started as a professional artist?

Sue: I've been painting in watercolor about 30 years. I started with a weekly painting class for about 10 years, then began an intense self study in watercolor. It was then that I began exhibiting and selling my artwork.

Me: What was the impetus for the current show?

Sue: Corene and I have been friends for about 25 years. We were always sharing creative ideas in her area of photography and in my painting . . . always in fun. For several years I've wanted to have a joint exhibit with her, but only recently was able to make it come about. To successfully integrate the two mediums there had to be a thread of connectivity. Since she had several great photos already, I chose my favorites and used each one as an inspiration for a new painting. Taking each photo, I created a new painting using either one of my own reference photos or finding new subject matter to express a similar feeling or tell a similar story. Some of the paired artwork was from the same moment in time when traveling together . . . we were both struck by the same sight. Our group of friends have traveled quite a bit, but our Montana trip produced a great amount of shared images, probably because it was a relaxing trip with no agenda.

Me: Do you have a favorite painting in the show?

Sue: My favorite painting, "Where the Shoe Hits the Pavement," was inspired by Corene's photo, "Hoofin' It." I loved her humorous, creative eye. With that photo in mind I took a few pics while in New Orleans of the carriage mules. This painting is what evolved . . . so not my usual subject but a great design!!

Me: What's next on your to do list?

Sue: I don't have a major project planned now, but I have several paintings planned. This collaboration has inspired me to get out of the box more and paint with inspiration rather than just a pretty picture.

Me: Thank you, Sue! Whatever you have planned, your fans look forward to it!

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