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From the time she was a young girl, when Suzanne Baker wanted something she went after it with everything she had. It is that determination that has earned her acclaim as one of the country's pre-eminent painters of the High Sierras. Baker was raised in Three Rivers, a tourist area in the foothills of the Sierras in California. Surrounded by large ranches, it was only natural that she would come to know and appreciate the cowboy life. In fact, for awhile the course her life would take was a toss up: horse trainer or artist. Luckily for art aficionados, she chose the later. But, at age 10, Baker's choice probably would have been a different one. "I loved horses," she says. I dug fish worms for three years and sold them at a lodge to buy a horse. I was ten. It took me three more years of digging worms to get a saddle. In the meantime, I rode bareback. I was damed with horses and was an avid horsewoman. She also was a shy child, had it not been the boldness of her mother, Bakers life could have taken a much less fortunate course. Her mother, seeing that Baker was not getting the kind of education that Baker needed, enrolled her in a school in a nearby district. A move in those days that was almost unheard of. Even though the family faced some difficult times financially, Baker's mother always saw to it that her children had art supplies. When Baker switched schools, it was her good fortune to be friended by her teacher.

"She was an artist's wife."

Later, Baker worked as a horse trainer and pack guide to pay for her college tuition. She met her husband Gordon, a fellow classmate, who went on to teach agriculture. Today Gordon is a substitute teacher and raises cattle on the 106 acres the couple owns in Raymond California. Eight years ago, her work was accepted by a gallery and Baker has been on a steady upward course ever since.

Although Baker started out using watercolors and some acrylics for her paintings, today she works solely in acrylics. Its been a long, long road but the rewards, she says, were well worth the journey. "I always knew that I would be a painter and that I was going to be successful."

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“Desert Trio”
36 x 28