Sue Ann Hum said she wanted to play in her studio and see where it took her this year.
To have more time, she stepped down from volunteer positions with Salida Art Walk and the Salida Council for the Arts and she also didn’t schedule an exhibis this year.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic came and she had more time than she imagined while self quarantining.
Normally Hum takes people to France for her business, but hasn’t been able to do that this year either. “I hit pause on what regular life was for me,” she said.
At first, even with some extra time, she wasn’t producing any pieces.
“I couldn’t paint,” she said. “I’d come in the studio and just scroll Facebook.”
Hum ended up taking her art in a new direction. She said she had purchased some online mixed media instruction and the tutorials opened some new doors for her.
“What was different is that I was learning something new. I stepped away from my usual routine,” Hum said. “This is a whole new direction for my artwork.”
Before, Hum painted with water colors and then oil and also created fine art.
In mid-April she did some floral pieces in mixed media and in May she created her first person with mixed media.
Hum also said she’s been collecting quotations for 30 or 40 years.
For her new series, “She Said,” Hum has been combining the quotes with mixed media pictures of women.
“I fell on the idea of combining quotations with pictures of women,” she said. “(The quotes) helped me solve some problems and during quarantine I felt like I needed to use a voice.”
Some of the quotes are funny, some are inspiration and a couple are fairly crude, though she said her intent isn’t to offend anyone. “I feel the feminine voice is a generalization on women,” she said. “I think I’m very attracted to finding help or humor in sayings, it’s the feminine voice.”
One piece, for instance, says “She was simple like quantum physics.”
Another says, “I can and I will. Just watch me.”
“They’re words I might say,” Hum said.
Once she started creating pieces again, the flood gates of her imagination were pushed wide open.
The “She Said” series currently has 24 pieces, all of which Hum has painted in the last three or four weeks, she said. A few weeks ago she also invited people to send her self portraits if they didn’t mind Hum interpreting them artistically. She has done four so far. She drew some other women in the series free hand and also interpreted some open stock photos for others. Hum said she particularly likes vintage photos.
“I look for photos of people that are very expressive and try to figure out what they’re saying,” Hum said.
Hum is also doing commissions. People can send her a picture or a saying and she’ll create it. People interested in commissioning a piece can contact Hum at SueAnnHum@gmail.com.
As far as the “She Said” series, people can view the online virtual show on Hum’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/sue.ann.lee and purchase pieces by messaging Hum. She posted the series recently.
“It’s humbling how well it’s been received and I’m happy to be able to express myself,” she said. She also said that creating art has helped her be “more balanced and happy” during this time.
“Who knows where it will take me, but it’s been a fun series,” Hum said.