Hancock Park painter Suzan Lizotte was pretty excited when she got the call from across that pond that House and Garden UK was interested in featuring her work in its “Artist Impression” page in the magazine.
Lizotte posted the painting they selected on her Instagram today, noting, “This painting was created for a special wonderful client and friend and I’m thrilled to see it in print!! Thank you @theworldofinteriors. The painting is of a real bridge on a golf course near me and I’ve reimagined the setting. It’s titled “Violet Evening Bridge”, 10” x 10”, oil on canvas.”
As it turns out, this was the first of several British magazines (House and Garden UK, British Vogue, Vanity Fair and British GQ) that were interested in featuring her work, resulting in her very own wave of UK publicity.
Lizotte, who usually paints in series, had just finished a body of work when the stay-at-home orders were issued last March to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything I was thinking of doing was altered by the pandemic,” explained Lizotte. “Suddenly we were in this life-and-death situation, and I became obsessed with daily data reporting on the Johns Hopkins website and the maps showing the spread of the pandemic.”
The pandemic conversation brought Lizotte back to a series she had done investigating mercury and mythology.
“I am concerned with the abuses of the medical establishment and the government. The misuse of mercury, the element, began at the end of the 15th century. Its misuse continues to this day and is closely linked to the rise of Autism, although hotly debated,” Lizotte wrote on her website describing the intention of her Mercury series.
“I was thinking about the Mercury series, the disease vectors, the great plague and suddenly it felt like we didn’t learn anything. Mask wearing started back in Italy during the plague and here we are again,” said Lizotte.
And so began her next series, Spring Maps, which she started in the spring of 2020 using old world materials, like sheepskin and hand made ink and paints. She’s still adding to the series and is currently excited about working on a hand dyed pink deerskin parchment.
“My Spring Map paintings are inspired by the quarantine of Covid-19,” wrote Lizotte on her website introducing the series. “They are a means to juxtapose the 14th century plague with the 21st century pandemic. Using Renaissance maps to speak to the spread of disease felt fitting as a starting point for finding our place in a new unknown world.”
Despite the somber origin, Lizotte’s work has a happy quality in the spring colors. That’s on purpose, she explained. She’s trying to make something fun to look at, just the opposite of what we are going through. She also likes the use of the circle, which she says is a metaphor for the earth.
“We are on the same marble in the space, we are all together, yet we are sectioned off,” explained Lizotte.
It’s exciting to see the work of local artist recognized. If you are an artist or know of one we should meet, we invite you to share their story with us.