A Healing Journey Through Grief
by Canadian Artist Susan Seitz
The world turned upside down. I couldn’t contain the layers of grief anymore.
So I decided to paint.
2020 marked the year of enormous stress. It also tightened the pressure of untouched grief.
As the calendar was getting ready to turn to a new year, memories of my Mom
who died unexpectedly at the age of 55, were starting to surface as 2021 was the year I
was turning the same age. [Read my healing story | missing mom here]
I felt this urgency to connect with this pain and find a way,
through art, to release the trauma within those memories of loss. Within weeks of
planning my 2021 Collection, I realized that my grief was larger than a Motherless
daughter. It became a journey of grief as a whole and holding space for it to evolve in
whatever way was needed. No boundaries. No expectations.
Just acceptance and willingness to show up.
Up Close & Personal is a collection of intuitive acrylic paintings that were inspired by
nature – but more importantly – informed by the innate ability to be in tune with my
internal reaction to my process and give voice to the challenges & struggles. The
symbolism and metaphors discovered through my process in response to my grief,
creates a pathway to bear witness to the chaos. When the witnessing happened, my
soul shifted ever so slightly, allowing movement and healing within the grief.
This collection has depth and curiosity with a dreamlike quality. It is honest and
personal and is deeply relatable to our human nature.
Sharing this process with you in the written word along with the painting, is an
important step to me. It offers another layer of witnessing and insight into the creation.
Each painting in its completion, holds a sense of hope and presents the viewer an
opportunity to connect to their own experiences.
Your interaction with each piece is acknowledged with grace & gratitude, giving me a
gentle hug to my personal healing journey.
I hope to see you at the SHADOWS Exhibit at Southampton Art Centre!
“Shadows” is two separate bodies of work showing at once at Southampton Arts ~ “Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey through Grief” by Susan Seitz (Walkerton) and “Come and See | Culture Oppressed” by Brent Henry (Saugeen #29).
For More Information Contact Southampton Arts Centre Website HERE or Call 519 599 5068
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection: Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey Through Grief. 1st Painting in this Collection: "STAND BY ME" | Photo Inspiration …
The photo reference to this painting was taken in the winter and the image was stunning. All the trees around this massive maple, including the branches, were covered in white snow. Everything looked as if it wasn’t really there, except the trunk. This made me curious about other things we can’t see and how it requires faith to believe, just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
See full artist description for Stand by Me by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection: Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey Through Grief. | THIS HEART OF MINE, 36" x 30", $1500.00 | Photo Inspiration … while walking along the shores of Lake Huron this spring, I came across a heart shape stone in the waters edge where the spring run off was washing over it, heading out towards the bright lite sky.
See full artist description for This Heart of Mine by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection: Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey Through Grief. # 3: BETWEEN THE LINES | 40" x 30" | $2000.00 | Photo Inspiration … I was driving down a side road in Bruce County while the sun was setting and this image of a sun beaming through the trees caught my eye. It was beautiful! The sun was setting behind many branches and there was a reflection of light in the middle following the spring run off. This scene reminded me of stain glass and all the pieces coming together.
See full artist description for Between The Lines by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection: Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey Through Grief. | The Storm Before the Calm. Photo Inspiration … While hiking in Colorado, one of their notorious storms rolled in. Quicker than I could have imagined! It came in with an incredible power and as I made my way back to my car - the Heavens opened and took my breath away. Shining light on the dark
See full artist description for Storm Before the Calm by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection: Up Close and Personal | A Healing Journey Through Grief. #6 LET LIGHT IN. 36" x 30" | $1500. | Photo Reference … Walking through McGregor Park this winter and seeing the sun shine through trees and cast shadows and light at the same time, is always mesmerizing to me. The moment I came across this view, I knew it had to be made into a painting.
See full artist description for Let Light In by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection Up Close and Personal, A Journey Through Grief | WITHIN DARKNESS ONLY LIGHT | Studio Reflections … Let the gems shine through!
Where there is darkness - only light. Layers upon layers. It was nice - then it was not so nice. Light and colour came in, then I would pour a layer that mudded the colours. I had to
sit with the struggle of trying to make it something it wasn’t. Until I saw the little gems glowing through. It was then that I focused on . . .
See full artist description for Within Darkness Only Light by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: 2021 Collection | Up Close and Personal, A Journey Through Grief | LAYHERS | Studio Reflections … Abstract calling to me. I needed to Just Be with my intuitive painting. Dear God, I invite you into my heart & studio - let there be light! Inspired by the gorgeous layers of the birch tree I wrote Hope, Growth & Peace on the under layers. Gravitated towards greens & pinks (heart chakra) GOLD!!! This painting will have gold! Love the gold and how it blends. So soft - so much goodness in the blending. I love this so much. I love what? How it feels when things work out?
Why? Because “this” is who I am! Abstract feels so real to me. It’s more real than painting realistic paintings I feel like I’ve been in a dream for 2 years. Patience. Gentle reveal of her layers - Layhers. My layers are reveal to you. She is gorgeous! Peeling the layers. Birch trees - up close and personal - a healing journey through griefWhen I approach a birch revealing herself to me, she is letting go - I am in awe of her presence - present - gifts. I feel love for these trees in how they expose the under layers to me. Show kindness to myself as I unfold These mysteries that are within. Inspiring - a must see in person! Gorgeous texture! Soft colours. Her layers before me. She … is a gift.
See full artist description for LAYHERS by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection | UP CLOSE and PERSONAL | COMING HOME | 30x36 | 1500 | PHOTO INSPIRATION … Who doesn’t love daisies! Driving outside of Walkerton where I grew up, lives patches
of wild daisies along the roadside. This particular one is high up on a bank and just below in the distance is an old wooden barn just happy to be there! The sun was setting - I crouched down … and voila, this perfect little homestead scene stole my heart. STUDIO REFLECTIONS … I think the dark needs to be acknowledged … just as I wrote that in my journal, the song “Angel” came on by Sarah McGlauchlin. The dark is okay to be on this painting - in the fields - in my heart (an arrow points in my sketch book to the mid tones in the field.) There is liberation in the loose application. No need to conform. No need to abide. Bringing all the “mud” of colours onto canvas. Blend and scribble and allow flow to find its way without pre-programed thinking
Its so fxxking liberating! Just Be with it - dance with it - name that grief and hold it to the light - to transform its darkness into golden - the gold that holds on tight to the existence that once was - and never forgotten. This “feels” right - witnessing my own journey in the unfolding.
See full artist description for Coming Home by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection | Up Close and Personal | BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER | 36x36 | $2500. | PHOTO INSPIRATION ... I have always loved reflections in water. I knew the moment I took this photo, that I would create a painting from this image. Although this piece was photographed in the winter - the soft snow is over looked and felt like a bridge dividing two worlds. Studio Reflections … Water flows - emotions flow. Balancing in the unknown. Light & Dark - one can not be without the other. Water ~ the flow of emotions. Buried beneath the earths surface.
A call in movement cries - wake up wake up. My struggles. The world shuts down. No income. Painting a series of paintings, through grief. Settle the mind and focus - my voice matters. I have a story to share on canvas. Be with that, and trust & believe that the rest will follow. Up close & personal - a healing journey through grief. This pandemic - chaos, grief, isolation
Dear God - please help me paint this painting. I used a grid but also painted very loosely. Letting go - letting God in. Feeling free within the brush work. While I was painting this I had the tv series “Glee” playing in the background. It happened to be S2:E3 and gospel music was playing. God is great, god is good - song “what if God was one of us”.
See full artist description for Bridge Over Troubled Water by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: 2021 Collection | Up Close and Personal | F**k the Neighbours | STUDIO REFLECTIONS … Field of Dandelions. It was the night of the 3rd lockdown announcement in Ontario. Friends had started a Facebook group sharing thoughts around the vaccine and joking about needing to get some more wine. I piped in to say I would be into drinking heavily, but honestly have no money to purchase it! I laughed (because crying was so exhausting at this point. I then said, wait! My grandfather use to make dandelion wine … read the full artist reflection at https://susanseitz.com/2021-fxxk-the-neighbours.
See full artist description for F**k the Neighbours by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: 2021 Collection | UP CLOSE and PERSONAL | TRANSITIONING | INVITATION: Look deeply into the painting before you read about the creation. What do you see?
What do you feel? What is your interpretation of what is happening in this piece? What does it mean to you? What symbols are calling to you?
See full artist description for Transitioning by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection | UP CLOSE and PERSONAL | Dream a Little Dream With Me | PHOTO INSPIRATION ... While hiking, I like to bend down and get up close and personal with what is before me. Reflections and shadows dance and twinkling lights can be found bouncing off of water and ice. This is where I find calm. This is my happy place.
See full artist description for Dream a Little Dream With Me by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection | UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL | HOPE | Studio Reflections … Pink = Heart Chakra. Grief. Nothing & everything. It is a container full of nothingness. Or perhaps thats how it feels when I don’t want to feel. Movement. Invite movement. Give it colour. Allow it to dance within you, before you, through you, under you, above you.
See full artist description for HOPE by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: 2021 Collection | UP CLOSE and PERSONAL | TRUST | Collaboration Between Artist Brent Henry and Artist Susan Seitz | A Canadian Original | Acrylic Painting on Canvas. Studio Reflections …
Friday ~ February 26, 2021
Full Moon energy
I am breaking through my first layers of resistance and stepping in to it ALL.
It is no surprise that I procrastinated and land on this day, painting my first painting for
this collection, on the full moon - the snow moon.
See full artist description for TRUST by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
Description: [SOLD] 2021 Collection | UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL | CIRCLE OF LIFE | Quote: “The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed - to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.” | Parker Palmer. INSPIRATION … I did a call out to my community and invited others to share in what ever way felt right to them, their grief story. Some called, some shared a text and/or few words in a message. Many sent letters. I wanted to create a safe place for those who wanted a witness to their journey. This is
the last painting I did in this collection. I waited till all the others were completed and I was available to hold space and under my apple tree, read each letter one by one.
While I was writing this summary underneath my apple tree ...
See full artist description for Circle of Life by going to the complete list of titles below this gallery.
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P.S. – I appreciate you. When you support an artist by purchasing our original work, you are keeping our creativity alive. We love to pass it on! Thank you for your support. Susan.