Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Shimmery Brushstrokes, Sun-Drenched California Scenes Series: ART NOW

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Shimmery Brushstrokes, Sun-Drenched California Scenes Series: ART NOW

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES painter Susan Clover is a mother and wife and an artist who is quite comfortable telling you that she relishes the simple pleasures of family, friends, and quiet moments in the sun. Clover is a serious and respected realist painter who began her art career nearly three decades ago when a scholarship took her to study at the prestigious Center for Creative Studies in Baltimore.

Clover now lives and works in Los Angeles where, over the last 10 years, her name has become synonymous with lush, sun-drenched water scenes filled with attractive young people: a female jumping through crystalline water, a couple playing on a river raft, gorgeous teens in aquamarine southern California pools.

Her style combines the shimmery, visible brush strokes of Impressionism with the slice-of-life exactitude we find in photography. Unlike most photo realists who hide texture and pride themselves in faultless surfaces that ape the smooth sheen of a snapshot, Clover's paint is thick and textured. Rocks are built from grainy energetic daubs of gray and brown, water and light from white streaks that look like they were mixed right on the canvas and applied by hand rather than brush. The amazing part is that Clover has such a command of her pigment that from the optimal viewing distance, all her surfaces congeal into the lustrous look of a mirror image.

People who prefer their art with more bite than beauty raise a brow or two and lament that Clover has fashioned herself into a comfortable chronicler, a recorder of the languid, leisurely, and ultimately banal middle-class good life. To this Clover responds amicably, reminding this interviewer that there is nothing wrong with beauty and that those who look closely enough will detect in the work her real concerns - the human form and the play of light. "The scenes themselves are more like vehicles," she says. …

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