Travels and Progress and Figure Workshop

Wilson's Arch, oil 11" x 14" $250. unframed, $310. framed.
Two weeks ago my daughter and a friend and I drove to Idaho to visit my parents and my brother- a three day drive each way through spectacular country. I took a lot of photos, mostly through the windows of my car. I painted this from one of those references. A viewer of my broadcast as I began this painting did some quick research and suggested I was painting Wilson’s Arch in Utah. Very possibly. I just know I saw it coming up the road and scrambled pretty quickly to get some fly-by photos. I really like this painting.

Ranchero, oil 10"x8" $150. unframed, $175 framed.
I painted this in the Best Western bathroom (it had the best light!) in Monticello, Utah, on our way back to Texas. The fellow had been sitting at the counter having breakfast in Roswell, NM, near our booth - prompting some stealthy photos over our hash browns and biscuits and gravy. I realized as I set up to paint that I hadn't packed any WHITE! I'd never painted anything without white on my palette. It was an interesting exercise and resulted in a painting I like very much.

This is a small commissioned painting for a man of his mother, using a photo from the early '60s- a photocopy of a damaged, hand-tinted black and white photo. I simplified her complicated jacket and the very complicated background in order to shift the focus to her beautiful, elegant face.

I'm only a short way into this 18" x 24" oil of three sisters, but I thought I'd post a progress image of it so far. It seems like everyone who has kept me company during my broadcast while I painted it has mentioned how many teeth there are to paint in this portrait. I do love their smiles and will follow my own best advice in how to paint those smiles. I will so!

Coming up: I'm offering a two-day "Figure Indoors" Workshop August 21-22 at the Coppini Academy here in San Antonio. $195. includes model and studio fees. Artists may work in either oil or pastel and will work from my photographs the first day and from the model on the second day. If you love painting people and also love the idea of a narrative painting- telling a story- I hope you'll join me. Sometimes it's a pleasure to paint people when the likeness is not imperative! Email me at and I'll connect you to the folks who handle registration.

I leave in less than three weeks for Ireland where I'm teaching a three-day portrait workshop in Dublin (!!!), then visiting Galway and Connemara with my artist friends there. Then I'm flying to Paris (my first time!!!) for a few days, then taking the train to the International Pastel Festival in St. Florent Le Vieil where I have four paintings exhibited. Pinch me. I promise paintings will follow...

I hope your summer plans include a little adventure, a lot of fun and the chance to create something. Oh, and some time in a hammock. Ahhh.....


Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

I love your Ranchero...Great feel.

Darcy said...

Susan, I loved meeting you in your studio on Saturday. I love your blog! You have inspired me to get my art out there and start posting on my blog again. You can find my blog at again for all your help!

Linda Popple said...

LOVE all these paintings, Susan! You are one busy girl and jet setter extraordinaire! Have a great time!!

Your figure workshop sounds wonderful! Wish I could attend, but alas, too far away. Looking forward to more paintings!

Barbara M. said...

Hi Susan,

Wow girl, you are just flying.

Good for you! Congratulations. Great paintings, and have a wonderful time with everything. How exciting.


Angela Elledge said...

Hello Susan,
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment so I could find you. Your figure workshop sounds great, wish it could be a little earlier in the summer. Your work is lovely, I've included myself as one of your followers so I can visit often.

Caroline Bray Art said...

Ranchero is just stunning. And I love the lengths you went to in order to capture the correct lighting! I hope the bathroom was comfortable! This is a brilliant blog, Susan, and I'm very much looking frward to following your progress.