Susanne Carmack has been printmaking for over thirty years. After receiving a B.A in art history from the University of Virginia, she studied ten years at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland learning printmaking. There, under the tutelage of Barbara Kerne, she was encouraged to get a Masters Degree. In 1991 she earned her MFA from the University of Maryland.
Carmack began printmaking working with oil-based inks before Akua inks were invented. In the early years of Akua’s arrival on the printmaking scene, she took a workshop with the inventor, Susan Rostow, at Pyramid Atlantic in Maryland. Soon afterwards, Carmack incorporated Akua inks it into her printmaking practice and never returned to oil-based inks. For her, the ease of clean up, the long open time, (forever) and the non-toxic environment in the classroom have been the most liberating features of Akua inks. In 2014 Carmack joined the demo artist program at Speedball in order to educate and spread the word about the professional quality and fume-free studio attainable by using Akua inks. In addition to workshops and demos with Speedball, Carmack has taught printmaking at the University of Maryland, and at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland, and is currently teaching at Brunswick County Community College in Southport NC.
Her achievements include exhibiting her prints at the Corcoran Gallery and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., as well as winning many awards in group exhibitions. She also has been featured in New American Paintings twice, and two times she was awarded a grant from The Maryland State Arts Council. She has over thirty solo exhibitions to her credit. Her art has been collected by public, private and corporate collections all over the United States.
Currently my printmaking practice revolves around carborundom collagraph plates holding gestural imagery. These plates are augmented with multiple monotype plates, dry point, stencils, and chine colle¢ or collage.
I find that my painting influences my printmaking and vice versa. My imagery results from process, that is, in both painting and printmaking I determine the next mark by what has come before. This results in a layered painting, and plates that have gone through the press numerous times to arrive at the final image. I am drawn to ideas of the earth and sky; organic shapes, seasons and weather. I also have a love of paper as a surface. It is both fragile and durable, and I like to see how far I can push it towards destruction. My fascination with detritus and the remains of this world can be seen in the patina of the surfaces, both in painting and printmaking.
I live and work at my home studio in Southport, NC.