Amulets

An amulet is typically a piece of jewelry that is worn for protection, to keep safe. Mine are not so typical. They are small paintings paired with small baskets, nonetheless their purpose remains the same. They are for safety and protection.

Not surprisingly, I started creating them just after Covid entered our lives. A good friend heard about someone who had decided to make amulets, one a day for 100 days. That was the root of the idea, and quite a few of us in the San Juan County Textile Guild made them in a wide variety of styles.

The series began with a really tiny basket paired with a 3” square alcohol ink painting. At first, the baskets felt like nests, and each had an “egg” in it. I was after all at home and nesting. Each has a two-word title – a positive, reassuring word and a more challenging, unsettling one. They are not quite opposites, but to me they seem to belong together.

After a time, the eggs gave way to “babies” and the baskets and the babies were often a little bigger and more elaborate. The paintings began to depict abstracted versions of babies as well. Eventually, the babies left the nest altogether. The baskets were empty, and sometimes there was more than one painting. Instead of pairs of words, the titles became questions. The paintings were often slightly bigger as well, though they remained small and intimate, a reflection of my tiny world. They shifted from alcohol ink to acrylic, watercolor, pens, pencil, etc. The imagery opened up and referenced landscapes and flowers.

The questions seem endless and they keep swirling around in my head. About my own life and certainly about the world around me. Though the need for protection and safety has shifted, it still feels important. As the world opens its doors, I am aware that nothing is quite the same and I am still preferring to nest. For the moment at least, I continue to ask questions and to make amulets. They keep me balanced, focused, and conscious of the beauty that is in each of us and in everything around us. These unconventional amulets are very dear to my heart, perhaps more so than any other work I’ve ever done.

Joyful / sad

Eternal / Ephemeral

faith / despair

grateful / judgmental

exuberant / immobile

centered / tight

content / frazzled

energized / languid

calm / anxious

excited / listless

seeking / denying

quiet / detached

adventure / preservation (for Ruth)

can it be done?

how did this happen?

what really matters?

why can’t we see it?

why do we make little things so big and big things so small?

Is This Where It Ends Or Is This Where It Begins?

what do you need from me?

why is it so hard to change?

Contact Me

Most of the work is for sale. Please contact me at susanb452@gmail.com for prices, for more information, or to see more of my work.