Susan Frame is a Minneapolis-born artist who expresses the beauty of Minnesota through the ancient Asian practice of sumi-e, a Japanese word for “ink painting.” Trained in the traditional technique of sumi-e, Susan combines this Eastern art with her Western impressions and interpretations. The result is a beautiful peony or a cascading waterfall articulated in an ethereal blend of ink and water. The soft petals of the rose and the towering trees of the Boundary Waters “speak” to her of the spirit and wonder of life.
“I turn to nature to replenish my soul, to remind myself of my place in the universe,
and to find peace,” Susan says.
“Using brush and ink I interpret from my heart.”
Susan has been “playing with ink” ever since she fell in love with the process of brush painting: the way the ink moves into the paper, and how the brush responds. Her goal is to express the subject’s essence and energy/life force. Experimentation is important to Susan and ‘happy accidents’ lead to new discoveries for this accomplished artist.
Her work features expressive flowers, landscapes, abstract interpretations and calligraphy, using combinations of ink, watercolor, mineral pigments, acrylic, rice paper, and canvas. She is a pioneer of vertical calligraphic brushwriting in English, and integrates her American experiences into her use of Asian materials.
Susan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College (cum laude). She studied Chinese landscape painting with internationally renowned Zhuo He-Jun, who continues to be her mentor. She completed a Chinese Painting Master class with Hong Kong artist Wuscious Wong, and contemporary watercolor and sumi-e workshops with Cheng Khee Chee AWS DF, NWS, TWSA. She also studied Traditional Chinese flower painting with Lin Hsin Jin in Taipei, Taiwan and was among the first group of artists invited to study classical landscape painting at the China Academy of Fine Arts, studying with renowned Lu Yen Shao.
This award-winning artist has participated in both invitational and juried exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally and is the author of Japanese Ink Painting: A Beginner’s Guide to Sumi-e. She has demonstrated and taught workshops throughout the United States and internationally, including China, Guatemala, Paris, Taiwan, and Canada.
As a pioneer of vertical calligraphic brushwriting in English, Susan was recently invited to exhibit her calligraphy in Korea and New York. “For this work, after much thought, I begin by writing a poem about something dear to my heart. I work on the placement and composition of the words and what I’m trying to convey in each word. Finally, I paint,” she says.
Susan is a painter, a poet, a published author, and a teacher whose work is included in museum and corporate collections.