VFW Hall hosts local artist’s prolific works

Artist captures community through the years

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Sayville-based artist Susan Brown gifted her brother, Marshall, head of the Long Island Conservancy group, 140 paintings for Christmas last year.

A burgeoning and prolific talent, Brown feels compelled to create, even with the humblest pieces of paper or cardboard that she finds.

On Friday, April 29, an art show for Brown was hosted by her brother Marshall and Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce president Eileen Tyznar, who is a close friend and one of Brown’s biggest supporters.

“It was my pleasure to cohost this art exhibit for Susan Brown. Her use of bright colors and her eye and passion for painting our favorite Sayville and West Sayville locations and landmarks makes for a very personal connection with those who view her art,” said Tyznar.

When gazing upon Brown’s work, whether her own genius or her interpretation of a masterpiece, one easily gets lost in the ebb and flow of her paradoxically prominent and background black lines that fight to hold the burst of colors in the palette she uses.

Cherry Grove and The Pines are perpetual muses for Brown, with her jubilant seascapes and celebratory portrayal of life on Fire Island. In one of her largest paintings on display that night, Brown captures the care-free and unifying spirit of Cherry Grove’s main dock, with rainbow images throughout and unseen but certainly heard voices of glee.

Throughout the display of dozens of paintings that lined the perimeter of the VFW hall, there were collections of Brown’s smaller portraits that often consisted of different iterations of her beloved mother, who by all accounts was a woman of fashion, glamour and wit, based on her daughter’s quadrant drawings and paintings of her.

“I see her hair, and it’s cream in that [painting]. Then I see it up in a bun, or to the side, or down,” said Brown about the hundreds of quadrant drawings of her mother’s persona in her portfolio.

In capturing the works of masters of Western art, like van Gogh or Georges Seurat, Brown invokes her own genius in conveying the original message of the artists, but in her own interpretive style that is at times maddeningly soft and quixotically vibrant in themes.

Particularly in her reimagining of Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” the staidness of the original is gone, but still remains calming. Although certainly a depiction of a wealthier or more comfortable class of people, Brown’s version is more democratic and generous to a more diverse audience.

Then there are the van Goghs, in which Brown seems to have conjured the suffering artist in a séance to be able to paint with such accuracy to the joy and the tumult of the originals.

In “Starry, Starry Night,” the precision with which Brown captures the play of color is quite impressive, but even more attention-grabbing is the additional movement and otherworldliness that Brown brings to her interpretation.

But the community can truly revel in Brown’s work as an archivist of Sayville, documenting in her color-laden way the fruitful additions to Main Street, the ferries, and all over town.

In one grid painting, Brown covers historical Sayville, and through contrasting hues relays the grand age of the town that was formed in the 18th-century by Dutch settlers to a contemporary home for modern families.

To see more of Susan Brown’s work, please visit https://www.susanbrownarts.com/. 

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