I met Susan a lifetime ago at a party in the Hollywood Hills. She was the first peer I'd met in my "adult" life that when asked what they do, replied "I am a painter." There was no wavering, no feeble attempts at justification, no dancing around it. It was a declaration that stuck in my head and inspired me. She knew what she was and was brave enough to announce it to the world long before I could.
Fifteen years later she walked into church. She didn't remember me, but I knew her in an instant. We've since become friends, and she continues to inspire me. She was kind enough to share a glimpse of her Sporting Life with us...
The Sporting Life: Where did you grow up?
Susan Carter-Hall: The Dirty South.
TSL: What were your hobbies as a kid?
SCH: Swimming, climbing trees, all sorts of arts-n-crafts, horseback riding, tap dancing, gymnastics, Barbies, sticker books.
TSL: What inspired you to pick up a "paint brush" and express yourself with art?
SCH: My grandmother, Alma "Moremom" Twente, always put paintbrushes and clay in our hands. She was a talented artist and fascinating lady who grew up on a riverboat in Cairo, Illinois and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. I also had a lot of encouraging teachers in elementary school and high school.
TSL: What is your favorite medium to work with?
SCH: Oil paint and things that make things stick together like tape and glue.
TSL: Who is your favorite artist, if you have one?
SCH: I have had so many who have influenced me but a few who I constantly refer back too are - Hockney, Matisse, Alice Neel, Cezanne, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, de Kooning - I am also very inspired by current artists - Peter Doig, Kati Heck, Rosson Crow, Summer Wheat, Allison Schlunik, and Anzinger.
TSL: What music are you currently listening to? Favorite Musicians?
SCH: My current playlist consists of my Los Angeles favorites -
Correatown, Hot as Sun, Thunderado, Bandito Royale, Poolhouse, RT and
the 44's, and then there's the Black Keys and Gram Parsons who I never
get tired of.... I can't name a favorite.
TSL: Who are your favorite authors? Currently reading?
SCH: Hemingway has always been one of my favorite authors – more specifically The Sun Also Rises. I recently finished The Awakening by Kate Chopin and Man Seeks God - which is an entertaining observation on various religions.
TSL: What historical figure do you most admire?
SCH: If I had to pick 2, I would say St. Francis and Robin Hood. I admire them because, despite the fact that they were a little rebellious and misunderstood, their intentions were good.
TSL: Champagne and Caviar or Beer and Chips?
SCH: Wine and Cheese
TSL: Do you feel that the ease of access to media and information has improved our quality of life or reduced it?
TSL: What is your current "project"?
SCH: After much preparation, I am getting ready to make available limited edition prints of a few of my previous works. Other than that, I am grappling with about 8 unfinished paintings in the studio that have minds of their own.
TSL: If you could sit down at a dinner table with anyone-living or dead, who would it be? What would you serve?
SCH: Funny, kind, and smart people - in that order. Woody Allen and Johnny Carson, maybe some of Kristen wig's characters from SNL, Lena Dunham.... I would serve something prepared by a chef because I am a poor cook, and I would serve lots of alcohol.
TSL: Are you worried about global warming?
SCH: Concerned, but worrying won't get us anywhere, therefore I will try my hardest to do what I can as an individual to minimize my contribution to global warming.
TSL: What is your greatest extravagance?
SCH: I should be more extravagant.
TSL: If you could live in any era, when would it be?
SCH: Could I just take a time machine and visit them all?
TSL: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
SCH: Ian Flemings home on Goat Island, Tobago.
TSL: If you could own any car, what would it be?
SCH: Pre 1970 Chevy pickup in white - mostly because my black lab Aida would look good riding shotgun, and I could transport large artworks.
TSL: Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka, Beer, Wine, Sober?
SCH: Sober in the studio, and maybe an Old Fashioned when I’m done.
TSL: What else are you into? Bullfights, Polo, Horse Racing,Motorcycles, F1, Rally, Croquette, Bocci?
SCH: I’d be up for any of the above.
TSL: What's your idea of the perfect lunch?
You can meet the artist and see her work in person, Thursday, January 10th at The Ebell of Los Angeles, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.