Natural World

Susan Hersey's fiber art interprets the environment
My art has always been my interpretation of where I live in the natural world. At this time I am surrounded by rolling hills, fields of grasses, oaks, buckeyes and fences in Northern California. Twenty years ago we moved into a live/work barn that my husband designed and built on the edge of a creek in a pasture in Marin County.
I started painting at a young age using oils and acrylics on various surfaces, mostly canvas and paper then fabric. In the late 1970s I was exposed to handmade paper and became totally seduced by the paper and its endless possibilities as a medium and a surface. 
In 1985 I was invited to spend a month at the Djerassi Resident  Artists Program in Northern California where I was challenged and able to further explore the potential of paper pulp.  In that environment I was able to totally focus on what I was doing without any interruptions or distractions. I wanted to make larger work so I had the idea to collage sheets of paper that I made there onto large pieces of fiberglass screening.  It was a breakthrough for me giving me a lot more flexibility. After that I became even more free when I got a pulp sprayer which allowed for me to create any size including sculptural pieces. The Forest Series V and the large folding screen are examples of layers of built up sprayed paper.  
Since moving to Northern California, I have been using more mixed media with different fibers and metal pieces in addition to paper to interpret the textures of this environment. I am now using metal screening, rusted sheet steel, copper wire and various natural fibers in addition to hand made paper all products of our contemporary society.  Every morning I walk around in the hills and fields before I go to my creek side studio and every day is different.  I am truly inspired by the changing environment that I live and work in. 
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