In a word, Susan Mains paints with passion. The resonance of vibrant colour, the broad, gestural stokes of the brush or knife, and the mystery of the tale she spins in each painting convincingly portrays her passionate love for the Caribbean.
Born of American parents, Susan came to the Caribbean in 1970 while yet a child. While living in Dominica in the ’80s with her husband and young children, she met Dominican artist Glenford John. A young, self-taught artist, he began giving helpful criticism to her first efforts at painting. Soon she was exhibiting and continuing what she describes as a “self-inflicted art education”.
Early in 1992, Susan and her family returned to settle in their beloved Grenada. From her home/studio in St. Paul’s, in the mountains above St. George’s, she paints. The inspiration is always before her as she looks out the window of her studio to Morne Gozo, the mountain that plunges down to a valley filled with nutmeg, banana, and coconut trees. The horizon of the south Atlantic Sea can be seen just beyond another rise. Tropical, yet constant eastern trade winds keep the work comfortable. Working in oils or acrylics, she often uses a palette knife to dash the paint on the canvas–hurrying to make the statement before the feeling of that moment of light is gone.
Susan says, “The many layers of life and light in the Caribbean have always intrigued me, and this is reflected in the art. You see what is on the surface, but you can be sure there is always another side to the story. The duality of this leads to mystery and discovery–the spice of life!” (Grenada, of course is the Spice Island).
Susan’s work has been taken all over the world by private collectors. In Grenada her paintings can be found in the leading hotels, banks, and other commercial enterprises.