Susan Vaughan

I was born in L.A. A few years later my family moved to San Diego, where I lived until age 7, at which time we moved to Hixson, Tennessee for 5 years. Then onto Colorado for a year and in 1972 we landed in Santa Cruz, where my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins lived and which I had visited many times as a child. I’ve been in the Santa Cruz area, off and on, ever since. I graduated from San Jose State University in 1982 with a BFA in painting. I started out in the graphic design program, but my last year I switched to fine art, as that was where my interest and passion lay. However, after graduating, I worked as a graphic artist for many years, in San Jose, Santa Cruz, and Cupertino. I was also involved in the antique/vintage business, buying and selling old things.

I grew up with a mother who loved finding treasures at estate sales and flea markets, and who was in the antique business. Through her, I developed a love of old, unique, vintage things. I collected such things for many years with the intent that one day I’d create something from them. That day finally came in 2006, and I’ve been incorporating found objects into my artwork ever since.

My process usually begins with a few objects which inspire me; I’ll start combining them with other things from my collection. When something “fits,” I’ll take that as an indication of the direction the piece needs to go. Sometimes I feel like I’m a conduit through which disparate items come together in a way that makes aesthetic or poetic sense to me. My process is intuitive and often involves serendipity and chance. In that sense you could call me a Surrealist.

Mixed Media, Sculpture