Susan Applegate at JSMA "Visual Magic" 2019

Jan 23, 2019

Painter Susan Applegate in her home studio in Yoncalla, Oregon, preparing for the "Visual Magic" show at JSMA
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

Susan Applegate

Date of Interview: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019

Date of Broadcast: Wed. Jan. 23, 2019


Exhibition Dates: January 19, 2019 to May 12, 2019


You’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review program.  Today’s focus is on the big “Visual Magic : An Oregon Invitationa” show that has just opened at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. This exhibit showcases 45 Oregon artists who began their creative careers in Oregon during the 1960s and '70s. At the top of the list is Yoncalla painter Susan Applegate.

"The thing that I’m most interested in painting …. Is exploring the inner vision that I get when I am looking or being in an environment, particularly a natural environment and the ...feeling or emotion that constructs that inner vision. "

The piece representing Susan Applegate in the “Visual Magic” show is called “Rain Shower Arc.”  She says she begins by sketching and noting tonal values while she’s out in the field.


Susan Applegate and her painting (upper left), "Rain Shower Arc."
Credit Photo by Sandy Brown Jensen


"And that’s when I get back in the studio, and that’s where I use memory, that’s where memory comes in and I try to concentrate or get into that place where the feeling vision was."

Like all mature painters,  Susan Applegate’s work reveals her awareness of great painters that came before her. Post Impressionist Paul Gauguin's Primitivism echos in her use of large plant shapes and vivid colors. But when you see one of her paintings, you say to yourself, “Applegate. She captures the visual magic.”

"The most underlying feeling in that is ...this… mysterious presence that the natural landscape is imbued with, the conversation that exists between rock and tree, water ... All of these conversations, they’re sacred in a way because they are imbued with a force that is present in us, as well, but we’re so busy being ourselves that we often miss out on that beautiful transaction. "


Portrait of painter Susan Applegate in her home studio
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

Don’t miss out on the result of that beautiful transaction for Susan Applegate and 44 other Oregon artists at the “Visual Magic.” It’s all happening at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through May 12.

See more about Susan Applegate at the Viz City blog on

Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.