Now relocated in Bozeman, MT, Sue Slade previously worked in Salt Lake City for more than thirty years as an abstract painter, using acrylic and watercolor on paper as her medium. She uses both machine-made and handmade watercolor paper in her work. Her contemporary non-objective images are crisp, detailed, and often highly patterned. Line and color are constant elements; her sharply defined shapes may be organic or geometric. Her recent paintings have centered on ancient alphabets and stripes: a rich variety of extinct scripts, both flowing and geometric, and stripes in many colors.


Alphabets and stripes appear in many of my recent paintings; they have comprised my formal language for several years, as I experimented with line and color.

The alphabets come from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; most are no longer in use, for religious, historical, or literary reasons. I became aware of the many extinct alphabets when I was surfing the net in search of the Glagolitic alphabet, the precursor to the Cyrillic alphabet of Old Church Slavonic, a language I once studied. I remembered that the Glagolitic alphabet looked like hooks, eyes, and tiny telephones, and so it did. But I also discovered a rich trove of alphabets long abandoned but beautiful in form. They remind us of the many languages once spoken in the world and of the people who spoke them.

The stripes provided a framework for playing with watercolor, a medium new to me, with its accidental effects. By contrasting the fuzzy edges of watercolor with the crisp edges of acrylic, I could balance and enrich color in the paintings. I also enjoyed the contrast of the matte watercolor with the shiny acrylic. Iridescent watercolors added another element in my search for a sensuous surface.


1982     MFA, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
1967     MA, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
1964     BA, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA

Professional Positions

1992–2009  Teacher and Chair, Art Dept., Albion Middle School, Sandy, UT

1985–1992  Associate Instructor, Continuing Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT