Work in progress: Fruities
Halfway between the bustling Texas cities of San Antonio and Austin, where the wild and rugged beauty of the Texas Hill Country reigns, Suzanne Truex works enthusiastically on a new series of drawings from her home studio. Recently she returned to her San Antonio roots to retire and create, after working twenty-five years for the Department of Neurosurgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas as the department's medical illustrator. These days though, her time is focused on creating her "other" art.
For over twenty-five years Suzanne has retrieved (sometimes rather dangerously) flattened metal objects from Dallas streets. These objects caught her eye because of their interesting texture, their colors and creases, or simply because she thought they looked "cool." Recently they’ve become a new subject of interest in her drawings.
“I think about my early days of drawing classes in college. The models with the 'perfect looks, perfect bodies,' etc., were pure torture to draw in my opinion. They were downright boring. But bring in a model with creases, folds and sags in the skin, scars attained from life in general, well these were my kind of people! I’ve since realized that those unique characteristics in the models I loved to draw was really not that different from the flattened metal objects I collected that had gone through amazing natural transformations after 'living' in the streets.”
As her obsessive collecting increased, some of the salvaged objects lovingly adorned her office walls at UT Southwestern. They became popular with clients and staff, some of whom brought Suzanne gifts of flattened and aged pieces they had rescued from the streets themselves.
Scientific collecting and recording of shards of pottery, tools, and other everyday items has always been important in our understanding of civilizations prior to ours. In some ways, the collecting of present day metal “artifacts” from the streets is not unlike those of the archeologist collecting and evaluating physical evidence of a life before. These collected objects are evidence of what we eat, drink, our use of convenient tools in a can, and other ordinary activities. They represent a very small point in time and location of one person’s life as a consumer and their personal story that we will never know.
Suzanne’s new series of drawings is titled "Artifacts.” They are not only a study in transformation through age and abuse, but she imagines “what if” these discarded metal objects were found hundreds of years from now. These are our artifacts, common, everyday items describing and defining our lives, but also confirming to generations to come our excessive waste and lack of respect for our environment.
All works in this series are drawn with Derwent colored pencils on Stonehenge paper, which is 100% cotton and acid-free. The size of the paper in this series is 12x15 inches, and will fit into a 16x20 frame with mat.
Current Series: Artifacts
Selected Neurosurgical Works
Periodically Suzanne will take photographs using a toy plastic camera, called a Holga, originally produced in China. Holgas and similar toy medium format cameras are well-known for their unpredictable light leaks and vignetting with some blurriness around images, producing an ephemeral quality to the photos. Many professional photographers use toy cameras as well for the unique qualities they imbue to photos.
Masters: Medical Illustration
University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, 1995
University of Texas, Austin, 1983