Insight into the creative process

Print More

Susan Canavan

Canavan assembling crepe paper gingko branches. Submitted photos

Medium: Paper

Instagram: @mrsthankyou_studio


Member since: 2019

What made you choose your primary medium? And do you work in other mediums?

I started making crepe paper flowers several years ago. I had read about a new instructional book and decided to give it a try. Once I figured out where to buy quality paper, I was hooked. Professionally, I worked as a graphic designer and still do design work for the Friends of Holcomb Farm and the Granby Education Foundation, including most recently, the signage on the new trail kiosk at the Holcomb Tree Trail.

What inspired you to become an artist? And/or what inspires your art?

As a kid I liked to draw and make things. In college, I was drawn to illustration and graphic design because I liked the structure and problem solving. My graphic design work is both collaborative and purpose driven; how can I make an engaging design to inform or persuade. Making paper flowers is a different sort of problem solving. I enjoy the challenges of figuring out how to build the flower, from deciding how best to represent its unique features to actual construction methods. I’m inspired by my own garden flowers and the amazing flowers made by the paper flower community.

Do you take art classes, workshops and/or do you teach your craft?

I have taught classes at the Granby Public Library and will be teaching a class at the library in December. I have also taken workshops from some of the best paper flower artists, which have been essential in improving my craft—there’s always more to learn!

Do you have any specific goals for your art in the next few years?

There are many new flowers I’d like to make. I would also like to spend more time experimenting with different methods of altering the color of the paper before cutting and constructing. I’ve recently been dip dying to create ombre paper which mimics the changes in colors on petals. I also want to keep participating in Granby Artists Association events. I will be joining many other Granby artists at the Holiday Gift Show at Holcomb Farm on Dec. 4 and 5.

Café au lait dahlia made from doublette crepe paper.

George Mattingly

Mattingly at work. Submitted photos

Medium: oil paintings



Member since: 2019

Membership in other artist organizations: West Hartford Art League, Connecticut Plein Air Society, New Britain Museum of American Art

What inspired you to become an artist? And/or what inspires your art?

Drawing and painting was always a passion, copying Sunday comics to comic book art. I was obsessed with perspective and shapes. I had every John Nagy kit and Walter Foster art book out there. I sold my first oil to my art teacher in fourth grade. What is inspiring to me is when I look at art and get that feeling that takes my breath away, that is what I want to give to others.

Do you take art classes, workshops and/or do you teach your craft?

I take classes at times with accomplished artists who are my mentors like Shauna Shane in Storrs, Jean Manzelli of Windsor and Bill Simpson of Granby.

I stopped doing art when I was 18 years old and almost lost my life to alcoholism and drug addiction. I got clean on Cape Cod at age 23 and started studying with the Provincetown Art Association. Instead of following up with that, I took up carpentry and didn’t do art for 40 years. I just started painting again in 2018 and have 100 framed oil paintings. I just had a hugely successful art show last month at the Salmon Brook Park House.

Somewhere on Nod Road, oil on linen, 2021