How many of us come home from the beach with pockets full of small treasures just begging to be turned into gorgeous jewelry or decorations? Thanks to Susan Brendon, our necks, wrists, earlobes, and homes have to wait no more. The inspiration for her art comes mostly from nature. She likes to use natural elements in her pieces, which include jewelry, sun catchers, mixed media paintings, and other home decor items. “Beachcombing is one of my favorite things to indulge in, so I Include something from the beach in every piece that I create,” said Susan.
Beach Stone Art Jewelry and home décor is made from a collection of agates, jasper, beach glass, shells, beach stones, and driftwood. In addition to these materials, Susan incorporates recycled jewelry, stoneware, art glass, and embellishes items with gemstone, pearl, glass, wood, and metal charms and beads.
Susan grew up having both a grandmother and mother who were artists. Her grandmother worked in pastels and taught others for many years. Her mother enjoyed trying multiple mediums and techniques and taught art as well, so as Susan and her three sisters were growing up, she let them try everything with her. Susan’s dad was a big fan of music and he and Susan’s mom loved to dance so they lived in a home filled with music, dance, and art with lessons in all. Susan also enjoyed country living on the Canadian prairie along with a collection of horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, and sometimes chickens.
During her younger years, Susan worked in the photography industry, back in the day with film, dark rooms, retouching and airbrushing, and she did a lot of work restoring old photographs. “Photoshop is much better” according to Susan! There were quite a few years in her life when she was raising a family and working full time and there was not much room in her life for any artistic expression. She held a variety of jobs including conference coordinator, hotel manager, diet center director, and spa director.
Susan and her husband, Danny Lauve, were living on Lake Samish in Bellingham and Danny was doing a lot of real estate photography at the time. A lot of the homes were on the sound, with stunning views, so in 2007 they were inspired to start looking around. Guemes Island is the first place they looked. Susan shared that “we fell in love with the beauty, the quiet, and the openness and kindred spirits of the people – paradise found. We are grateful every day to be here.”
When they moved to Guemes they started a business that included photography, and design and marketing. Susan designs brochures, business cards, ads, etc. “I do mostly product photography, but I also like to shoot weddings, reunions, events, and portraits when requested.”
When Susan isn’t busy creating her artwork, she can be found walking on the beach or in the forest with their happy dog, photographing nature, attending Island events, being with friends, listening to good music, reading, and, of course, dancing. “The very best part of my life is spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren.”
Her jewelry is for sale at the Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) in La Conner, the Apothecary Spa in Anacortes, and The Schack Art Center in Everett. You can also find her on Etsy.
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