Schuessler Studios: Visions of Spirit
“Life is a series of creations which we all connect through,” affirms Colorado’s own artistic guru Michael Schuessler in his online profile. He states that he channels energy and mood onto canvas, always with a spiritual mindfulness using color, movement and symbolism. A conscious effort to touch the subconscious as a creative source of healing, “the true essence of spirit,” Schuessler says. “I believe the healing arts and the canvas arts can be one and the same.”
Producing his critically acclaimed art since the mid-’90s, we caught up with Michael at the Thunderbird Artists 14th annual Fountain Hills Fine Art and Wine Festival in Arizona this weekend. Mr. Schuessler’s persona is the same as his otherworldly works of art, which are mostly pastel and acrylic medium sealed in transparent layers. Both he and his art appear to light from within. Schuessler essentially achieves his trade secret – passed on to him in a length apprenticeship with his dearly departed mentor Nancy Hannum, of Denver – with which he seems to translate the inner dialogue of our own small voice. “Under the microscope, chalk pastels are actually little diamonds of color, they build on the canvas surface and light reflects differently off them. The art will pick up colors and lights around it,” Schuessler demonstrates. “I provide the catalyst, the viewer provides the form. The more a person looks at the art the more they experience.” In what he describes as a kind of Sedation, the art is meant to slow down the viewer’s automatic assumptions and conditioning, thus evoking a sense of soothing calm. Also a trained metaphysical healer, Michael Schuessler uses the secrets of universal energy to touch lives in positive ways and capture this spiritual essence on raw, untreated canvas. “My works are vibratory formulas of color and light, Energy Works of Life,” he explains.
ArtBeat: Michael, I see the translucent layers in your pastel paintings. It looks like shiny fog or its airbrushed. How long does it take to apply your style and achieve this incredible technique?
Michael: It can take about a month to create the larger scale paintings.
ArtBeat: Besides Nancy Hannum, which other artist has influenced you the most?
Michael: Robert Strohmeier (1927-2016: Printmaking pioneer, teacher, gardener and fly-fisherman). He was in Nancy’s studio for only two days. He taught me the most valuable lesson. I was asking myself, What do I paint? What is going to sell? He told me to paint from my heart, if I like it someone else is going to like it too. That was the best advice that I could have at the time.
ArtBeat: You have a lot going on. What is next for Schuessler Studios?
Michael: We were in Carefree last weekend and I have five shows coming up, in particular shows in Beverly Hills this May, Aspen in July and Telluride in September. I am also looking into teaching this rare technique since it has only been passed down to me. (that sounds intriguing!)
Schuessler’s wife, Sherry Little Fawn, is herself an accomplished photographer and kindred creative soul. Her captivating views of Southwest landscapes, wildlife and people can be seen on the link provided above under ‘Current Artists’. Besides these past two weekends in beautiful Arizona, both artists exhibit through various outlets and street fairs year ’round all over the place.
Recently voted a Top Five Studio by CBS channel 4 Denver, follow them on social media to learn more about their exclusive and public events, along with profiles of other great local art professionals.
The Fountain Hills Fine Art and Wine Festival runs March 24th and 25th, 10am – 5pm. Entry fee is $3, a few bucks more gets you your own souvenir tasting glass. Free parking, a famous fountain and majestic desert mountain views abound.