Susan Lawson Bouma’s commitment to abstraction
Of the 100 works at John's Island’s annual art show, one painting stood out among the sunlit scenes of Florida, the still lifes and animal studies. Only Susan Lawson Bouma's “Abstract #5” showed a resolute commitment to pure abstraction.
Over a painterly field of gray, pale blue and ochre, a blood-red patch of paint floats above the composition’s center, like an ominous cloud. Black marks scattered across the canvas add to the painting’s mystery, like indecipherable calligraphy.
Susan Lawson Bouma Abstracts the Hightlights from her Artistic Journey
Growing up in Iowa, Susan Lawson Bouma often spent time at the local library. That’s where the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art’s collection was then housed, and where she was first exposed to the works of long-time city resident, Grant Wood, the regionalist artist known for his 1930s iconic painting American Gothic (now in the permanent collection of The Art Institute of Chicago). “This was the extent of my early art education,” recalls Bouma, yet it was enough to spark an intrigue that would ultimately lead her to pursue a career in the arts.