October 25, 2014

Susan Lomino—1947-2012

 

By Dan Lomino

Susan Lomino passed away on December 14, 2012, at her home in Woodland Hills, after a 14-month battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her husband, Dan, of 48 years, their two children, David and Tamara, and grandchildren, Julia and Robert.

Susan was born on April 7, 1947, in the San Fernando Valley, graduated from Grant High School and later attended UCLA. She and Dan were married on Valentine’s Day in 1965. They had met two years before in an elevator and everything was up from that moment.

Susan and Dan lived in Topanga for many years in a home that they designed and built. Susan became a member of the Topanga Canyon Gallery 15 years ago. She traveled the world, Thailand, India, Nepal, Japan, China, New Zealand and all of Europe, leaving a legacy of paintings and ideas for a thousand paintings that are yet to be…. She learned to Belly Dance, joined Troupe Mosaic, designed her own costumes and danced at numerous venues.

In 1982, she joined the motion picture industry as a set designer and later became an Art Director. Some of her credits are, “Hill Street Blues,” “Dallas,” “Never Been Kissed,” “Training Day,” “Postman and Samantha Who.” She worked in the industry until retiring in 2009.

She was diagnosed with cancer in October 2011. Her life turned on a dime as a journey began to heal herself. She read books with positive mantras. “The Artist’s Way,” and “Finding Water,” by Julia Cameron were just two of the books. She would journal each day to record treatment and feelings.

She understood that there are times that you can’t control external forces. She knew, however, that there are always choices as to how one could react to those forces. Perhaps, if she had been tested and biopsied more frequently, doctors may have learned earlier that the chemo they were using was not working. By that time, however, it was too late to begin a new course of treatment. Susan would have wanted people to know this; to test and biopsy frequently.

Art was going to play a major role in her treatment and recovery. Some of her first thoughts were to paint large abstract images of the evil beast that lurked within her. She remembered that “Susan” in Hebrew means “Lily.” In the Apocryphal Book of Tobit, Susannah was a woman of courage who defended herself from a wrongful accusation, “ The Beast.”

She shifted her focus to the positive and began a year-long affair with water lilies. She would, after some treatments visit lily ponds on the way home, e.g., Melody Nursery, Japanese Gardens, Pierce College and Calabasas Lake. When she arrived home she was inspired to work on a new piece.

She didn’t name her pieces, she dated them. Sadly, I never asked why she chose not to name them. I suspect, that the completion date of a piece and not the name of it, meant more to her.

She channeled images of herself surrounded by water lilies at a one-woman show. It was another way to conquer “The Beast.”

ONE-WOMAN SHOW: "SUSAN'S LILIES, JOURNEY OF COURAGE," MAY 1-MAY 26

Susan will only be with us in spirit at her one-woman show, “Susan’s Lilies, Journey of Courage,” that will proceed as scheduled at the Topanga Canyon Gallery.

The show will open on May 1 and run until May 26. There will be an artist’s reception on Saturday, May 4, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The members of the gallery have been extremely supportive. As is the tradition, Susan’s show will be in the front half of the gallery with the rest of the membership showing their work in the back. Most members’ works will focus on the “Journey of Courage” theme.

Please try to attend the reception or drop by during the month, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

All proceeds from Susan’s works will be donated to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Palliative Care Unit.

The Topanga Canyon Gallery is located at 120 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. #109 Topanga Canyon Ca. 90290. For more information: (310) 455-7909.