Susan, who typically
focuses on painting one
portrait at a time, says that
one of the best things about
her career is the people she
has gotten to know and the
friends she has made. She’s
even had opportunities to paint
three generations of the same family.
This is a happy side effect of her extensive commission pro-cess,
but it is also integral to the reasons she paints portraits and
what she hopes viewers and clients will take away from her work.
“I have met so many wonderful people over the years,” Susan
says, reconnecting with families after the birth of a new child
requires another commission. “Painting portraits is such a personal
thing. You have to really enjoy people to begin with, find out what
is best about them, and tell their story in a painting. Working on a
portrait is like developing a friendship with someone you just met.
You have to zero in on their best qualities and make them shine. I
would like to think that I have made a lot of good friends with the
hundreds of portraits I have painted.”
This appreciation for her subjects is clear in all of her paintings,
including “Indian Summer Solitude,” an image of a young woman
with light brown hair. Loose, colorful clothing pools around her
and is lifted slightly by an ocean breeze. Her chin rests gently on a
Dancing Queen, 42 x 42 inches, oil on canvas.
S U S A N S C H A R L I N G