I met Susan recently as I admired her work of beautiful art. When I spoke to her, I realised that she had been through a journey in her life to bring her to the practice of Buddhism and Artwork.
I asked Susan to share her story in her own words. Susan’s story overwhelms me with emotion each time I read it. Susan would like to share her story with you.
"When I was five, my father used to sit me on his knee and he would draw pin men for me. These would be little figures doing all sorts of intriguing things on little trains, boats and cars."
From that moment my artistic future was set. I began to draw all sorts of images.
At the age of 10, I was given an oil painting set and I would rush home from school to practice. Often I copied colour photographs of people from magazines. I had a lot of trouble trying to get the right skin colour on the faces, but I found the human face fascinating.
Fast forward 20 years, and I was married and working full time as a primary school teacher, which left me little time to paint. Instead, I was reading all the information I could find on religion, philosophy and science. Eventually I joined The Theosophical Society, where I could study all those areas of interest, which would answer my unending questions about the meaning of life, and why are we here.
In April 1993, my only son aged 20 years old, Jonathan was diagnosed with a brain tumour and our lives fell in ruins around us. He was in his second year at University studying Geography. His studies had to be put on hold while he was operated on to remove the tumour. After a horrendous 3 months recovery time, when Jonathan nearly died twice, he slowly began to get better, and after receiving six weeks of radiotherapy, his life began to return to a semblance of normality.
During that time I had gone through the whole experience alone, with only my Theosophy to help me. The core beliefs of Karma and Reincarnation were a great comfort, bringing a rational logic to an otherwise seemingly unfair situation.
I had a book about Indian Art, with the most beautiful picture of the head of Buddha, in the frontispiece. Not being able to sleep, because of my worry for my son, who was now suffering, not from the effects of another brain tumour, but from brain damage caused by the radiation therapy (he was now diagnosed with Radiation Vasculitis). I found myself wandering around the house at night looking for something to do.
The Beautiful Buddha came to my rescue.
So began a growing interest in Buddhism and Buddhist art and sculpture.
It surprised me when people saw my art as peaceful and spiritual, and said I must be in touch with my higher Self, I would reply “If only!!”
I don’t look upon myself as particularly spiritual, I have no psychic abilities, so the only way I can help people is through my paintings. If the images bring a little peace to others, then that makes it all worthwhile, and makes me happy.
My beloved son, Jonathan, died at the age of 40, in October 2013. At least he’s now at peace.
I am convinced his next life will be better, because he’s certainly paid off a lot of bad Karma in this life!
Susan’s beautiful work can be found on her website www.suehassall.co.uk
Having seen her artwork at the event, the work brings an element of peace within and it can be enjoyed for all of its beauty and spirit. Wellbeing encompasses all aspects of an individual. Susan’s story is touching. and highlights the importance of finding peace and balance through which ever means. For Susan, her Buddhism path and art has allowed her to do that.
Thank you Susan for sharing your experience and journey with us.
Copyright April2016. Wellbeing Range