Colorful with Turquoise, 2019, Acrylic on Canvas, 11 x 14 inches.
Shipley began painting as a child, and has continued this communion between brush and canvas, and with various other media throughout her life and career. She attended the Cleveland Institute of Art, Notre Dame, Ursuline Art Therapy, Kent State University, and now the Fleisher. Shipley curated shows at the Cleveland State University, Lake County Arts Festival and Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. As a practicing psychologist, Shipley has used art therapy with students, with clients, with in-patients, and with the criminally insane. For her, art and therapy are intertwined, and she notes that, “Not only does art heal, it also reveals.”
Susan Shipley believes that art-making exists on a moral or metaphysical plain, rather than a physical. The art process is activated by internal and external stimuli, which are triggered by an emotional tug on the soul. Stimulated, the artist reacts to external stimuli from their core. The artist reacts to the beauty found in the natural world, landscape or figure. The artist may respond in an abstract way to social injustices. Nowadays, the artist tries to negotiate a chaotic world, full of risk and loss. This has an impact on the artwork and the resulting abstraction.