Susan Matthews

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The Blue Bowl 66" X 53"
acrylic on canvas (2005)

I saw this beautiful woman in a desert market. To me she looked like a queen.
I was told later that the blue plastic bowl was a begging bowl.
In the background I painted the sahelian environment near the Sahara.
I am a desert lover, but I can't imagine living there.

Wind and Water 84" X 48"
acrylic and gold leaf on canvas (2005)

This is a painting based on a photo I took of a girl dancing.
I added some Afro-Cuban touches, the horse hair whip is an attribute of Oya,
the goddess of the wind in Cuba, and the gourd full of water
would be an attribute of Oshun, the river goddess.
With the wind comes the rain.
I spend a lot of time in Cuba studying percussion.

When it Rains it Pours 40" X 30"
acrylic and copper leaf on canvas (2005)

This is a Hausa girl I met in a rural village near Maradi. When it rains in the desert,
it pours with all its might, but the water escapes away through the sand as quickly as it can.
I painted brown rain because everything in Niger seems to be the color of the sand,
even the rain.

No Blue Sky 40" X 30"
acrylic and silver leaf on canvas (2005)

I met this man in a Fulani village on the edge of the Sahara. He is a Hausa man who was working for the Fulani. He is holding a hand-made ax. I call it "No Blue Sky" because
there was seldon a blue sky in Niger. There was always a fine dust in the air
that seemed to leach the color out of the sky.

Ina Aiki 40" X 30"
acrylic and gold leaf on canvas (2004)

"Ina aiki" means, "how is your work? The standard answer is "da godya",
"I am thankful for it". This is a little Hausa girl in the Sahel, Niger.

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