Susan Lyon grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Her initial interest in art was
sparked by a television show on Georgia O'Keefe. "I hadn't seen art like
that before. Her work touched me emotionally and seemed so personal - a sort of
window into her soul." Lyon studied painting at the American Academy of
Art in Chicago and Chicago's 100+ year-old Palette and Chisel Club. It is
there she first began exhibiting and selling her work; at twenty-three she was
the youngest winner of the prestigious Gold Medal which she won two consecutive
years in the annual Oil Painting show plus a third place in the Silver Medal
Susan draws much inspiration from painters such as Zorn, Fechin, Sorolla, and
Celia Beaux. Lyon's technique is to paint wet on wet to start and then wet on
dry for her finishing touches. She occasionally thins her oils with mineral
spirits to obtain a balance of scratchy brush work against thick opaque strokes
for the lights. " My style is background with small, soft brushes for
subtle details in my center of interest".
Many of her ideas come from the everyday objects that surround her such as
stuffed animals, dolls or the occasional curious kitten playfully exploring her
studio. "What I hope to accomplish is to convey the whimsical beauty I see
around me as well as to make the viewer smile when they look at my work. When I
started out as an artist, I struggled against my own more feminine tastes. I
feared people would not take a painting of stuffed animals or dolls seriously.
Once I overcame this self-consciousness, I was happy to find that what I enjoy
looking at day after day also reaches others. Even when I'm painting fairly
traditional things, my greatest joy is figuring out original ways of setting up
the most common of still life objects so that they appear dynamic.
Susan Lyon lives in a rural area of North Carolina with her husband, artist
Scott Burdick, whom she met at the Palette and Chisel in 1989 and married in
1993. She moved there to escape the hectic pace of city life as well as to
experience an entirely different part of the country. Surrounded by nature,
Susan's studio allows her the space and privacy to grow as an artist. It also
serves as a perfect home-base for her painting trips and travels which have
included most of Europe, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Nepal, Thailand,
China, Peru and Tibet. "The excitement of traveling, seeing so many new
sights, and incredible works in museums; combined with the challenge of
painting on the spot make me a travel addict! Even before I go on a trip I'm
planning the one after". Susan's mediums of choice are oil and charcoal,
with occasional forays into watercolor.
Her work has been featured in many article's such as the March issue of
"Art Talk", 1997; the July/August "Art of the West" 1998,
The January issue of Southwest Art 2000, the June/July issue of
"International Artist" 2000, U.S. Art December of 2001, June/July
issue of "Art Talk" 2002 and The Artist's Sketch Book, August of 2004
- Southwest Art May of 2004.
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"Brown Hat with Feather"
14 x 18