Panel Series

I collect objects that later become part of my art: wooden toys, feathers, corks, chopsticks, buttons, beads, hardware, car parts, wire, aluminum cans, a bird nest from a miniature pine forest in Kauai, seashells, and once, a skin shed from a six-foot long snake.

With Panel Series I created small tableau assemblages that speak to each other. I use driftwood to weave the pieces together and I add color to the bleached branches and fist-shaped knots even though doing it feels almost sacrilegious: the driftwood is intrinsically so beautiful.

Wind Dapple | Wood panel, driftwood, chopsticks, metal, feathers | 16" x 16"

It wasn’t until I happened upon the carcass of a woodpecker lying near the sidewalk that I realized I hadn’t heard the familiar hammering of a woodpecker on our grandfather maple tree for a while. I held back my squeamishness to rescue the black-and-white spotted feathers and began this ode. The woodpecker’s likeness is painted over a background of chopsticks saved from Chinese take-out. The bumpy image is like a memory...distorted and missing information. When searching for a title for this panel, I sat under the maple tree reading Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass aloud to no one but myself and watched the wind blow the leaves off the branches. Tucked inside one poem were his combined words “wind dapple.”

Marsh Imunu | Wood panel, sticks, metal, feathers, acrylic paint | 16" x 16"

I had wondered what that solitary enormous white bird was, then one day, as I was hiking my familiar route along the nearby wetlands, I encountered a mass of them (I counted about 175) bobbing on the water. I learned that this was the “threatened” Great White Pelican and I decided it needed the protection of what the New Guinea call an imunu. I dug through my supply of driftwood to find the perfect one. (The New Guinea shaman searches his terrain until he finds a root or branch that illustrates this “spirit-being.” I routinely visit two of these marvelous specimens in their glass case at the San Francisco DeYoung Museum and set their imunu counterparts free in my own art.)

| Wood panel, sticks, metal, acrylic paint | 16" x 16"

The pierced metal cameo is copied from a face in my collection of milagros. Images of these miracle charms have appeared in my paintings and sculptures since I first saw them hanging alongside photographs of loved ones or cast-off crutches on the inside walls of churches in Mexico. Each modest tableau told a story of triumph. This custom is totally outside of my own culture and belief system but there is something helplessly compelling about a talisman that works against my rational way of operating in the world. It is what I do when I make art, create something that I believe even if it makes no literal sense.


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الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية


We are being profiled current in Exhibiting You. I wanted to compliment your work. I enjoy the thought process behind your pieces.

الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية

Susan, Your work is evocative, emotive, intelligent, colorful, well crafted and first rate art.

Barbara Patinkin
الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية

Susan's creations are imaginative, intricate,
colorful and captivating.


carol Murota
الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية

I love the combination of thoughtfulness and whimsy in Susan's work. The richness of her colors and contrasting textures provide entries into the many layers evident in her pieces. Delightful stuff.

Susan Vogel
الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية


Your work is a beautiful combination of organic content driven by concept and a bit of whimsy. One can easily see your craftsmanship at work and your imagination at play.
Susan V.


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