Sooki passed away peacefully in 2021 after a spirited battle with cancer. Below is the personal statement she wrote about her work. Please enjoy her artwork - her spirit lives on in her vibrant paintings.
I emerged as an artist from a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and from the ashes of the Woolsey Fire in Malibu.
Days after learning I had cancer in November 2018, as I packed to fly across the country for surgery, I was ordered to evacuate my home in Topanga Canyon as the Woolsey Fire tore through the surrounding hills.
My home survived and so did I, and my recovery has paralleled the inspiring rebirth of the landscape around me after the devastating fire. My colors are an expression of a renewal of spirit and life and reflect the way I see this Earth as we heal together.
I have no formal training in painting, but a history in creative endeavors from designing a line of clothing, working in a ceramics studio, and a career in the film industry. My national title as a trail runner brought me close to the land and trails that surround me here in the Santa Monica Mountains. I majored in animal behavior in college and worked for a time as the “bat woman” of New York City – studying the natural history of the bat population in the midst of the urban landscape.
The Southern California communities of Topanga Canyon and Malibu provide the source of the local landscapes that I paint. I work in acrylics on canvas. My vibrant colors come from the new way I see the world, and from my heart.