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Live to Create; Create to Live • by Susan K. Weckesser

Susan K. WeckesserSo, what is “art” anyway? When taking a course of art history, or looking up “art” in a dictionary, this is the definition that you might find:

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings … Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.

So, when studying a definition like this you can conclude that:

Art=symbolic elements + (emotion, intellect) + mode of expression

Letting my Inner Artist Grow
This very intellectual meaning of art is the reason that I have continued to face each morning with a smile on my face. I remember sitting in a logic class one cold January morning trying to make sense of words equations, when I looked out the old brick-framed window and happened to see a little sparrow keeping warm in the snow-covered branches. My head was buzzing with logistic debates, economic papers, and one dandy migraine to boot when all of a sudden that little sparrow wasn’t just a sparrow anymore. He was a palette of colors and patterns. The tree was beautiful lines and shapes. I was analyzing light and shadows. It was so liberating that morning in that dreary class to let the artist in me be free. I had gone to University ready to contain what I thought was my childish dreams of letting my inner artist grow. What a mistake that was!

Only when I learned to let my inner artist grow was I then able to advance in my career, help myself, and help others. At the age of 22, I had no idea what kind of tool and support my artwork would be for me later on in life. Not only has art been my shield, but it has also been my way to reach out to others that might need some help, comfort or love.

Strength I Didn’t Know I Had
I love to communicate through my canvas … whatever it might be! What a joyous feeling it is to be able to pick up a blank canvas and a palette full of colors and then unleash all of your emotions upon that work. It truly is a work of emotions, one that comes from the inner eye. All happiness, pains, anger, and sadness can be brushed away for another day without judgment. How awesome is that! I couldn’t and can’t solve people’s cancers, abuse, death, or sadness, but at that moment in time I could deal with it in a positive, productive, and healthy way!

Once I figured out this wonderful plan that seemed to work wonders for me, I wanted to share with others how to do the same. I started up Susiebee Studios with the thought of having a place for people to share their thoughts, photos, or artwork. More importantly, I wanted to teach and reach out to people; it made me feel happy. So I started teaching all ages how they could express their feeling through art. With doing this and writing magazine articles, I started to hear more and more stories from people about how art affected their lives. What was so fascinating was that even if I was having a rough time, like when my father suddenly died recently, or like lately with my mother now not doing well, I had strength. Strength that normally I don’t think I would have had. That awesome support and strength was coming from my expression in art, and also the wonderful people around me in the art world. Amazing! What a super blessing that I will always be grateful for!

A Community of Support
A couple years back, when teaching some courses, I was writing one of my articles for a deadline. After doing some research I remember sitting back in my chair with such a warm feeling in my heart as a realization hit me; crafters, scrapbookers, and artists were and are one of the most caring and giving groups that I have ever met. At that time, I knew of a designer who had fallen so ill that she had to be in hospital for a long time and insurance wouldn’t cover it. I was so touched when I saw how forum members and artists alike joined in to donate money to help. I was seeing these wonderful caring events happening everywhere and it made my heart feel overwhelmed with love for these artists, art, and love. I wanted to do my small little part so I started Susiebee Studios Christmas Love Campaign, which has been going for the last two years. Many fantastic manufactures and publishers donate prizes and I just ask that any artist, crafter, or scrapbooker make a little something and give it to a random stranger, a neighbor, a cashier/clerk, a friend, or anyone! It is so wonderful to make art with your heart and then share it. Not only is it making you feel wonderful, but it makes someone else feel special too! Each year it so awesome to see when stories start coming in from all over the world of people doing kind acts for other people, often people that they don’t even know. This truly is art helping people! Does Art Save? Yes. Yes it does.

How We Face Our Challenges
There are mornings when it is a challenge to get out of bed. I don’t like to tell people, but I have been plagued with chronic pain, surgeries, sadness, constant medical tests, etc. Maybe, I don’t talk about it because then it seems too real. Death has been oh too real the last two years after losing numerous family members. I don’t say all this to make you sad. Everyone faces challenges in their life, and everyone has heartbreaks and pain; well pain seems to be one of those puddles that some of us have to jump where others of us just have to wade through. It is how we face our challenges that make all of the difference. I almost crumbled a few years back until I realized that one of my biggest blessings and lifesavers was my love of art. “My love of art is precious, treasured, and amply shared.” So each and every day, I am so grateful for, and I know with all my heart that art does in fact save.

The Healing Canvas
Just a canvas plain and small
There was no heart I could feel at all
pain and sorrow took its toll
and tears down my cheeks did roll
I picked up palette and brush in hand
It was time to dry my eyes and take a stand
Yellow and orange, blue and red,
All my thoughts and feeling said
Hues and colors, stroke after stroke
I no longer felt like my heart had broke.

— Copyrighted 2011 Susan K. Weckesser

Susan K. Weckesser is a mixed-media artist, writer, photographer, designer, and teacher. To see more of her work, visit,, or

Susan Weckesser

Susan Weckesser

Susan Weckesser

Susan Weckesser

Susan Weckesser


hi ya, this has just given me a great idea. i have a lot of little bits of story cloth that i sew and i just don't feel like going the gallery way or even putting them on my etsy site.

why u ask. well i have own earth flower art, my flower shop, 2gypsy's my jewelry shop, and 824 my art gallery. i am retailed and sold out. but giving oh i love giving. and the light bulb just went on. and u guys changed the wattage.

random acts of giving-art. :) oh this is a grand idea. i can just carry one of my pieces and give them to whomever. maybe i'll start with the check out lady that has been at the grocery store ever since i moved in the hood some 22 years ago. and the lady at joanns who always cuts my fabric. and the waitress and and........
thanks so much for the enlightment!
looking forward nancy krampf

Nancy........ thanks so much for your comments! It really meant a lot to read this and hear what you are planning on doing! I do hope that you keep in touch and thanking so much for sharing!

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