A Susan Shoemaker rabbit is a foot on Moss Rock Festival 2013 Poster

Posted by on Sep 30, 2013 in Blog, Drawing

The 350 acre Moss Rock Preserve has not only provided inspiration for nature driven and eco-friendly festival programming, but it also has served as a satellite venue for festival activities like hiking, geocaching and trail running. For the 8th annual eco-creative festival, the nature preserve is providing a fun storyline for an animated and animal driven festival poster featuring the art of Alabama artist Susan Shoemaker.

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Susan’s “Dwarf Rabbit on Pink” immediately caught our attention with its hypnotic stare and comical expression. The rabbit’s quiet, endearing personality leapt off the canvas. Not to mention, it is just the type of furry creature that one would envision making its home in the wooded preserve right next door to the festival site. We thought it was the perfect image choice for beckoning 15,000 festival goers to The Preserve in Hoover on November 2 & 3.

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“Using animals as my primary subject matter can be tricky. I try to find a balance between straightforward representation and having a sense of humor about myself and my work. My goal is that the animals are well represented, funny when intended, and always portrayed in an interesting way.”

Susan is a Birmingham native currently living in Irondale, Alabama. She graduated with a BFA from Montevallo University in year 2000, pursuing a double concentration in printmaking and sculpture. “After leaving UM, I found myself as a printmaker without a press, and returned to my first love of drawing” shared Susan. Soon after, she created an art studio for that artistic passion and direction called “pencilpress”. Current works include graphite drawings, acrylic paint, and photo transfers on wood panel, canvas, and paper. “I prefer the wood panel as it can handle the several coats of under painting and several layers of drawing that I do to achieve the final look of a textural drawing.”

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As we were brainstorming creative options for the 2013 poster design, we decided for the first time to feature a work of art from a participating artist. As the design took shape, we borrowed inspiration from Susan’s layered technique. The grey and blue zig zag that frames the rabbit image on the poster was an excerpt from one of Susan’s portraits of a fox (pictured to left). We saw this graphic approach as a form of art recycling. By taking essences from 2 of her art images and combining into one, we created a great new “hybrid” image that was still very representative of Susan’s artistic vision. And it made for a beautiful and engaging poster.

Moss Rock Festival is hopping-excited to feature Susan and her animal inspired art at Moss Rock Festival 2013 the first weekend in November! Be sure to stop by her booth and get a piece for your collection. Susan will be showing at Booth 230 on the Yellow Row.

For more info about Susan, please visit her artist page on Moss Rock Festival’s website: http://www.mossrockfestival.com/projects/susan-shoemaker/

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