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Article: Susan Stewart: Dancing with Color on Canvas

Susan Stewart: Dancing with Color on Canvas

Nestled in the picturesque landscape of Cape Cod, Susan Stewart has carved out a niche that beautifully melds her eclectic past with her artistic present. Her journey from the disciplined stages of ballet to the free strokes of the paintbrush encapsulates a life dedicated to the pursuit of beauty and expression.

A Ballet Foundation

Susan's artistic sensibility was honed during her time as a soloist with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City from 1977 to 1983. The precision and grace required in ballet have permeated her approach to visual arts, bringing a unique sense of movement and rhythm to her paintings. Her transition from the structured world of dance to the expansive realm of fine arts began with her studies at the Ecole Superieure d’art Annecy Alpes in Annecy, France, where she initially engaged with murals and sign painting before delving into fine art.

Artistic Evolution

After spending 30 years in France, Susan returned to the United States, bringing with her a rich palette of experiences that now influence her work. Settling on Cape Cod, she has embraced the vibrant art scene and natural beauty of the area, which serve as constant sources of inspiration. Her paintings are not just reflections of the world around her but are deeply infused with personal memories, reinterpreted through her artistic lens.

Magic Realism and Memory

Susan’s works are categorized under Magic Realism, a genre where magical elements blend into a realistic atmosphere, bringing forth a world where reality meets fantasy. Her canvases are often populated by figures and elements that seem to be lifted from another time and place, creating a dreamlike quality that invites the viewer to step into a different realm. The use of Fauvist colors adds a vivid, almost surreal quality to her work, enhancing the emotive power of her paintings.

Engaging the Viewer

Susan’s art compels the viewer to engage both mentally and visually. She challenges spectators to unravel the stories behind her paintings, encouraging a deeper contemplation of life’s complexities. Her approach involves reassembling fragments of old memories to form new narratives, often drawing from her background in dance, her travels, and her personal experiences. She uses her own photographs as a starting point, reinterpreting them to fit into the narratives she wishes to convey through her art.

Inspirational Echoes

Her work is influenced by a variety of cultural elements, from dance to literature, and by artists like Peter Doig, Matthew Wong, and David Hockney, whose styles resonate through her use of shape, color, and composition. These influences blend seamlessly into her paintings, creating pieces that are both personal and universally appealing.

Exhibitions and Impact

Susan Stewart has not only sold her work through her personal website but has also displayed her art at prestigious venues such as the Cape Cod Museum, Sarasota Art Center in Florida, and The Commons in Provincetown. Each exhibition offers viewers a chance to experience her unique artistic vision, which continually evolves and pushes the boundaries of traditional art forms.


Susan Stewart's journey from ballet to brushes, from New York City to the French Alps, and back to the United States, is a testament to her unwavering commitment to artistic exploration and expression. Her work on Cape Cod continues to inspire and provoke, inviting everyone who views her paintings to question, to dream, and to see the world anew through her enriched, colorful lens.

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