An award winning Northern California artist, Susan’s passion for the outdoors and deep respect for nature are the forces that channel her energy, imagination and inspiration to paint. Northern California’s diverse people and surrounding forest, vineyards, coastline and pasturelands offer abundant subject matter. “Nature’s moods are limitless…a constantly changing interplay of light and shadow, atmosphere, color and reflection. By the very nature of watercolor’s vibrant translucent pigments, my artwork is a personal interpretation of sound, smell and feelings. I find myself looking for ‘the painting’ in every watery pond, cloud pattern, shadowy doorway, and colorful season. I strive to draw the viewer in by creating an intriguing ‘story’ with subtle passageways that invite entry and exploration, to experience the freedom of personal joy”.
“I have painted all my life, from tempera as a child, to oil in high school, then acrylics and after my son was born – watercolor! An accomplished swimmer, I found my real challenge was in understanding how to relax into the intensity of watercolor with balance and emotion”.
The use of water itself induces feelings of calm and meditation. “The nature of watercolor is to ‘float’ and then settle…the trick is to let the pigment flow from the brush…and let the water do the work.” Rich color allowed to dry between layers creates the much desired jewel-like glazing effect - producing luscious, juicy, translucent depth in glowing colors that seem to vibrate from the surface of the heavy, white rag papers. Years of watercolor instruction and class work have pushed Susan to evolve her own unique and color-intense style. Over “I have painted all my life, from tempera as a child to oil in high school, then acrylics and finally watercolor. As an accomplished swimmer, I found my real challenge in understanding how to relax into the intensity of watercolor in balance with emotion”. Over the last 30 years, she has had the opportunity to study and paint with many premier watercolorists, including Pat Kurtz, Holly Downing, Sylvia Miller, Patrick Fanning, Kathryn Fell, Nancy Collins, Frank Webb, Marsha Connell, and master Chinese Watercolorist Lian Quan Zhen. She is a member of the Watercolor Artists of Sonoma County, Artists Round Table, Oakmont Art Association, and a past Resident Artist at Healdsburg Center for the Arts.
Marin County Humane Society Award for Outstanding Art Interpretation, all city schools, 1958
Kona Coffee Company logo design winner, Kona, Hawaii 1965
Moon’s Gallery One Woman Watercolor Exhibition (sold out), Plumas County, CA 1988
Best of Medium (watercolor), Sonoma County Harvest Fair 1996
1st Place, Amateur, Watercolor, Sonoma County Fair 1997
1st Place, Watercolor, Sonoma County Harvest Festival 1998
People’s Choice Award, Aqua Areas Annual Watercolor Show 2000
Honorable Mention, Aqua Areas Annual Watercolor Show 2015
First Place – Artists Round Table – February, 2016