Susan Wungluck Zale is a native Chicagoan. A practicing artist and teacher, she received her degree from the University of Illinois in Chicago, with emphasis on painting and printmaking. She has been influenced by Japanese woodblock prints and photography, as well as the paintings of Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Winslow Homer.
Zale has gravitated toward pastel and colored pencil work, with the recent addition of collage as a form of expression. Meditative in nature, most of her work could be described as a study of light and color.
Her subject matter varies between real and abstract. When working from real life, her usual themes are landscapes, buildings (inside and outside), and close-ups of nature. Most of Zale’s abstract work has its basis in the natural world.
When using colored pencils or paint, she applies many layers to create both planned shapes and subtle changes of color within the work, creating depth with those layers. Blending of pigment is important in her use of pastels. She will sometimes use the structure of a grid or framework within her drawings or paintings.
Her collages are formed of torn and cut magazine photographs. The animal collages suggest kinship with Japanese woodcuts. The abstract pieces play with light and dark to delight the eye.