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Sue Perry - Paintings

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Light and Shadow

When John looked south from his seat at the table
He saw Siva dancing in the ring of fire on a cold stove.
Above, a granddaughter shivered in the city of light.
On either side a window, its lower half occluded
So that nuns could pray in that former chapel.
Outside, large cedar limbs caught the sun.
Inside, reflected light played on ceiling and floor.

(Oil on canvas, 26”x25”, 2022)



When Sue looks ahead from her seat at the table
She sees John and his friend Gil seated at a café,
The past flattened but remembered for her dwellings,
Her shawl of many crossings there for comfort,
The pitcher of gladiolas to her right,
Cindy’s sculpted cock reduced to two dimensions
In a corner where green leaves light a northward window.

(Oil on canvas, 16”x24”, 2022)

“ . . . It is the philosopher’s search/for an interior made exterior/
And the poet’s search, for the same exterior made interior . . .”

Wallace Stevens:  Ordinary Evening


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  • Jungleland, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, copyright ©2021


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A work that attempts to address the injustices of an economic system which has caused great wealth to accumulate for a small percentage of the rich and very rich while large numbers of people are sleeping under bridges:  in this case, beneath the superhighway which transports Seattle’s more fortunate citizens over patches of green beneath Interstate 5.


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  • Fulfillment Center, oil on canvas, 32 x 38 inches, copyright ©2021

Fulfillment Center

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Fulfillment Center may be the capstone for “My Neighborhood.”  Fittingly, its motif is next door:  a mid-stage in a process which began about 2010 when our neighbors, the Bufords, a family of jazz musicians, were swindled out of the land where, when the painter moved to Seattle in 1989, their cottage occupied a capacious yard graced by rose bushes, the sort of property that brings drooling developers sniffing around for the right moment.


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  • Rolling Sunset on 16th Ave., oil on canvas, 29 x 42inches,  copyright ©2015-2021

Rolling Sunset on 16th Ave.

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This painting, from 2015, evaded posting until it emerged as part of a recent project to add frames to all the extant work.

As a part of this process, the painter took one more look at the efforts of six years ago and repainted the leafless tree growing out of the elegantly decorated truck.


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  • Sisyphus Screwed, oil on canvas, 42 x 45 inches, copyright ©2019

Merry Christmas

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“Sisyphus Screwed” (2019, 42” x 45”) is the painter’s annual holiday greeting.  Some of you will receive a paper copy via USPS.  There, some rather tortured prose on its reverse attempts to fit the work into seasonal traditions within a current political atmosphere where peace and brotherly love are not prospering.  Perhaps, viewed here, the struggle between the tall evergreen and the intrusion of man made machines speaks for itself?


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  • Aboard The Empire Builder 2011-2019, oil on canvas, 28 x 40 inches, copyright ©2019

Aboard The Empire Builder 2011-2019

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Questions for The Giant:

What was it caused the painter to go back to work on Aboard despite its present lack of relevance for any conceivable audience?  Philippe’s apparent wonder at visions revealed by the moving train? An experiment to see if Catherine’s blurred hand could make the Empire Builder move?  Memories of John posing for the arms and hands of the waiter?  Her own love for grapefruit?  The color vermillion?


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  • Ideas Of Order On Marion Street, oil on canvas, 33 x 38 inches, copyright ©2019

Ideas Of Order

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It all started some years ago with the red couch, a case of incipient disorder, an inside turned outside, in a town (it turned out) poised for the present descent of real estate agents and de/construction enterprises.  Sketches were made, photographs taken in all kinds of weather, a stretcher frame built and blank canvas pulled over it.  An initial layer of paint was applied.  The result was run past friends.  Enthusiasm was lacking.  “Order on Marion Street” went to the bottom of the unfinished pile until April this year.  The good news is that with this latest effort the painter’s collection of work that needs work has diminished by one more item.  Call it a study in symmetries and their disruption or absence, and consider the closing lines of Wallace Stevens’ A Connoisseur of Chaos:


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  • Transport, oil on canvas, 34 x 38 inches, copyright ©2019


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Limited as it is to just two tall buildings, the great beyond of downtown Seattle apparent through the gate central to “Transport” is a superannuated image. Indeed, this canvas picked up its first layer of paint sometime before that area sprouted its present crop of skyscrapers.  


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  • Metaphysical Streets, oil on canvas, 32 x 35 inches, copyright ©2019

Metaphysical Streets

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In the metaphysical streets, the profoundest forms
Go with the walker subtly walking there.
These he destroys with wafts of wakening,

Free from their majesty and yet in need
Of majesty . . .

Wallace Stevens, Ordinary Evening, xi


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