Susan Gainen

Demonstrating Cave Painting
Demonstrating Cave Painting accompanied by the Grand Cave Toucan

I am a Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian and abstract painter. My Prime Directives are to Spread Whimsy, to make abstract neighborhoods that show that each piece looks better because of the pieces that surround it.

Peter the Tattooed Parrot by Susan Gainen
Peter the Tattooed Parrot by Susan Gainen

Peter the Tattooed Parrot does both. He is a Whimsical Creature with a head like a duck, a neck like a giraffe and the body of a Victorian lady wearing a bustle. Each of his designs represents a neighborhood, and each looks better because of the designs that surround it.

Had you told me in 2006 that I would have taken responsibility for the whimsical wildlife of Saint Paul (Minnesota), painted more than 1000 images for four years of “Image-a-day” painting, created a 5×10-foot installation of Lost Cave Paintings of Saint Paul, and set about creating a safe space for the Pandas and Frogs who live in the Hidden Bamboo Forest of Saint Paul, I’d have questioned both your sanity and your judgement. I had no idea that the body of abstract painting that I began in 2009 would be metaphorical images of neighborhoods that celebrate differences, I would have said that I was “overthinking.” But here I am.