I attended the 4 Hands art show in the hip East Village area of downtown Tulsa. My first impression of the artwork was colorful, whimsical, multilayered (technically and figuratively). The artists, Lois Thompson and Susan Hanson, looked like art themselves with their bright eyes, lovely jewelry and eclectic leather boots. They had a synergistic and electric vibe and listening to their journey down their artistic path was very satisfying and enlightening.
Tell me about your art show.
What is the inspiration for this amazing, colorful, whimsical , awesome art?
In this particular show, we did alot of figures. Really, it’s just a continued interest in figures, a love of fashion, a celebration of women and fun. We started this body of work , all figurative…with wine bottles and Tulsa-scapes worked into it.
How long have you been artists?
I (Susan Hanson) went to University of Kansas and graduated with an Art History degree. She (Lois Thompson) went to University of Kansas, UMKC (University of Missouri in Kansas City) and KCAI (Kansas City Art Institute).
What gallery displays your art here in Tulsa?
Royce Myers Arts Limited.
What would you like to share with us about your artwork and process?
We like to work together because we inspire each other and we have the same aesthetic and work on the same pieces. It’s unusual to find related or unrelated people who work on the same piece….. physically and actually work on the same piece.
The art is secondary to the time we spend together. We come to the same conclusions of what we like, how we finish it, what’s working and what’s not working. We happen to both love art and painting but it’s secondary to the philosophical discussions we have, the current events, the books we’re reading, the inspirations….
We rented a house and it’s a great space to work. We FaceTime with our iPads. I can see what she’s working on, and we ask each other’s opinion, give each other ideas. I (Susan) live in Dallas and she (Lois) lives in KC . Everyday that we wake up, we’re grateful that we can do something we’re so passionate about that brings us closer together. We’ve traveled to Venice, Madrid and Mexico together for art related activities. We’ve gone to other locations like Fredericksburg and Lake Eufala for getaways where we don’t think about everyday details. It’s like a little vacation but we’re working, too . We seclude ourselves for intense work.
Do you have favorite artists?
Do you think your clients buy mostly for residences or businesses?
Residences mostly. We do alot of commission work for designers. This show is just one body of work and it’s all brand new work that hasn’t been in a gallery. The Royce Myers gallery on Boston Avenue has them permanently and we have other pieces there, too.
I took photos of the artwork throughout Girouard Vines and Kay Myers of Royce Myers Art Gallery introduced herself to me…so I interviewed Kay for awhile.
Kay, how do you find your artists?
Many artists come to us. Tulsa has a so many talented artists. We might be somewhere and see art and inquire about it. There are local, regional and international artists in our gallery. We’ve been at our 1706 S. Boston location for 25 years. We’ve had primarily oil paintings, but also sculptures, etc….
Do you have a favorite artist in general?
Georgia O’Keefe. I love that she was such a strong, independent woman and so inspiring.
Do you have a background in art?
My husband and son are artists. My husband studied art and I do a lot of volunteering in different art projects in town. I’m involved with Tulsa Girls Art School as a volunteer and I’ve also been on the board. It’s one of my passions to be involved with art education and work with kids. That’s vitally important. I love that that program changes girls lives and I get to witness it. Susan and Lois are one of our favorite artist duos and they are the only mother-daughter duo we have.
Susan Hanson, the artist, and I visited some more while viewing the art and mingling. More information evolved. (Susan showed me the various layers and textures used in some of the paintings from paper, tissue paper, metals, ..)
What’s the name of your website or how do we access your art ?
We’re serious about our art but our art is not serious. People are fascinating whether it’s a family member, a child or a friend so you never get tired doing figures because they tell a story. You can make up whatever you want—what their story is, their past, their relationship, etc. You see that we do alot of pairs. Alot of time, the art is about relationships….and working your way through them.
They are layers…they’re multi-layered.
Yes!…just like our painting.
The artists’ information on the Royce Myers Art Limited website and on their flyers at the art show had the following information : “…the use of unnaturalistic color in their artwork is Susan Hanson’s trademark looks as well as integrating several mediums into one piece. Susan is passionate about interior design and the role that art plays in bringing a space alive.
Lois C. Thompson has a BFA from KCAI and an MA in studio art from UMCK. She studied at Scuola International di Venezia and the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts on Skopelos Island in Greece. “…The creative process has been and continues to be an avenue of discovery for me. The process is my way of expressing the journey of exploration that examines both heart and head.”
I spent the rest of the time at the event mingling and enjoying some Sauvignon Blanc while I watched the venue come alive with more guests attending to enjoy art and each other.
photos by Gina