Connell’s fascination with the Jungian theory of the collective unconscious serves as an underpinning for her work. By focusing her drawings on hands, the slightest curve of a finger or suggestion of a touch, Susan portrays the core of humanity— both tragic and hopeful. Hands act as powerful symbols for ideas like protection or care. Looking at Susan’s body of work one sees image-after-image of a hand shielding, nurturing, or helping another figure. “I feel soullessness and "mean spirit" has seeped into our culture. I hope my work encourages people to feel and care for others again”.
Connells minimal use of line and color is a testament to how little information one needs to communicate. Connell can draw a simple white slender figure standing alone on the palm of an oversized hand eliciting feelings of both hope and melancholy. The viewer is able to connect to Susan’s imagery through a universal understanding of the gestures that she draws. Connells process is intuitive and her composition often reveals itself as the work progresses. “I believe the creative process is the most important thing of all...colors change, designs morph but the core of my idea remains the same”.
Susan Connell is a graduate of Colorado Women’s College. She received her Master’s degree from Claremont Graduate School where she studied under Phil Dike and Paul Darrow. Susan’s paintings and drawings have been shown in galleries, and universities throughout Southern California including Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has been a student of Tom Wudl for the last 20 years.