Episode 11: Two Old Friends Talk about a Life in Art – Susan Keegin

Hosted By: Mag Dimond

August 17, 2021


In this episode, I introduce my lifelong friend, Susan Keegin. We explore the power of art and the intersection of emotion and creativity as we discuss her art and her evolution as an artist. Susan grew up eating her mother’s Italian food and surrounded by her parents’ art. Today, Susan is an accomplished and talented painter. Join us for this lively discussion!

What you Hear/Learn:

[0:23] Mag introduces the guest, Susan Landor Keegin.

[2:00] Susan answers the question, “When did you first know you were an artist?”

[7:55] Susan talks about her transition from photographer to designer to painter.

[10:00] Susan and Mag discuss self-discipline and scheduling time to “create” each day.

[12:50] Mag and Susan explore the connection between art and emotional well-being.

[17:19] The ladies talk about how their art and writing have evolved.

[20:46] Susan answers the question, “Looking back at raising your children, what was the most important thing you wanted them to learn?”

[27:55] Susan explains her life philosophy and how it’s all about the little things for her.

[32:00] Mag and Susan discuss mindfulness and being a witness to the wonders of life.

[35:50] Susan talks about her mother who was born during the Spanish flu pandemic and how art can calm us during times of crisis.

[40:05] Susan and Mag plan an imaginary dinner party and talk about who they would invite if they could invite absolutely anyone.

Quotes:

[I had to learn] the discipline of creating work on a daily basis, and that was probably the most valuable lesson … that, you know, you get up every morning whether you feel like it or not, and you go to work. You sit down, and you do the creative work. And, that was a great discipline for me to learn, and it has really served me well.

Being in the studio absolutely changes my attitude. It changes my frame of mind. It changes my mood. And, it’s not about the finished product, but about the making of it. [It’s about] mixing paint and seeing it come alive.

My art is now just a process of exploring, and I am often doing things that I’ve never done before … But there’s no judgment about it. I always feel like it’s going to work out in the end. Because oil paint is a very forgiving medium. There’s no such thing as ruining something. You can always go over it.

Connect with Susan:
Website
Instagram

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Website: https://bowingtoelephantspodcast.com

 

You can download this episode’s transcript here.

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Warmly,
Mag

5 responses to “Episode 11: Two Old Friends Talk about a Life in Art – Susan Keegin”

  1. Léa Park says:

    Thanks, Mag and Susan, for offering up this conversation. I enjoyed it so much!

    I was especially touched by your descriptions of process and was left wanting to hear more from you both about the differences between writing and painting It strikes me that writing, being the more disembodied, is the more difficult to navigate.

    Did Susan’s response to the idea of witness (“isn’t it simply awareness?”) owe something to the sheer physicality of her work? A physicality that keeps the track-in-the-sand between observation, feeling, and imagining (literally, “creating an image of”) relatively uncluttered? Even when that track might lead to the abstraction of a thought versus, say,… a recognizable apple? ::)

    all best wishes,
    Léa

  2. Léa Park says:

    Thanks, Mag and Susan, for offering up this conversation. I enjoyed it so much!

    I was especially touched by your descriptions of process and was left wanting to hear more from you both about the differences between writing and painting It strikes me that writing, being the more disembodied, is the more difficult to navigate.

    Did Susan’s response to the idea of witness (“isn’t it simply awareness?”) owe something to the sheer physicality of her work? A physicality that keeps the track-in-the-sand between observation, feeling, and imagining (literally, “creating an image of”) relatively uncluttered? Even when the track leads to the abstraction of a thought versus, say,… a recognizable apple? ::)

    all best wishes,
    Léa

  3. Bob Smith says:

    Dear Mag…Dear Susan…
    Thank you for inviting me into your lives and your thoughts on life as well as your art. I felt as if I was listening to two highly intelligent women discussing the “meaning of life”. Thank you again for sharing your innermost thoughts with we lesser mortals.

  4. Thankyou Mag and Susan. Lovely exchange.
    Pray for mistakes and follow their lead. We are as artists all immigrants searching for our place to live. As a painter it is Good to hear other’s quest for a voice. Cheers!

  5. Lynn Landor says:

    Wonderful interview. WONDERFUL!
    Listened to it twice in a row to savor it.
    I will return to it over and over again. There is SO much to ponder in it — both from the experiences of Mag, the interviewer, as well as of Sue, the interviewee.

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