Susan finds inspiration in collecting vintage fabrics as well. Antique textiles from Africa, India, Japan, and France are carefully folded and stored in display cases—categorized by color from red to orange to blue. "I like to put things in color groups," she explains. "There’s just a haze of patterns all the time."
Color not only inspires Susan to organize her treasures, it also plays a role in her work. Curious groupings of color-themed objects sprinkled throughout the space inspire the paint shades she creates for Marston.
She’s currently in the process of expanding the company’s paint line, particularly the white spectrum, so the compilation of pieces in her work space includes a broad mix of items—from a rolled-up crepe bandage to a muffin cup and a slab of plaster. "Here are all sorts of odd things that bear no relation to each other, but for the fact that they’re various shades of white," she muses. "This is my research, as it were. But it’s like doing a painting, really."
Freshly picked flowers and greenery add to the pastoral spirit. Tall grasses grace an architectural vase, and thistle-like cornflowers fill an antique vinegar jar. "The first thing I do when I get here is arrange flowers," she muses. "I find it reviving."
Creating a calming yet colorful space and surrounding herself with the things she loves enable Susan to tap more easily into that inner ingenuity. "I might go to my studio and work happily because I do keep nice things in there. I mix paint colors or design fabrics or bring pencils and watercolors and paint."
Susan reflects for a moment, and then adds: "Or, I can just as happily sit and enjoy being out here."