Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My Passion

I was recently encouraged by the folks at Patience Brewster ornaments and cards to write about my passion for art and painting. I'm sure I acquired my love for art through my artistic ancestors. My great grandmother was Sophie Marie Mitchell, who was known in the Napa Valley area for her watercolor paintings of the local wildflowers, which are now part of the Napa Valley Museum. I did not know of her paintings until years after I had started painting in watercolor. One inspiration that stands out in my mind is seeing the John Singer Sargent exibition at the National Museum of Art in Washington, D.C. back in 1999 and all the other pieces of art by Rembrant, Homer, Monet, Eakins, ect. It was so beautiful!

watercolor by Sophie Marie Mitchell, 1890's.

I was also inspired by my Aunt Joanne Thompson, who was the featured artist for the Walter Foster art booklet, "It's Fun to Sketch with Pencil and Crayon, Joanne Thompson, by Walter Foster"

I practiced many of her drawings from this book to improve my own portrait drawing, which was the beginning of my love of the portrait. I would strongly suggest that drawing and sketching is an excellent habit to develope if you want to improve your painting skills in a short amount of time. Other talented family members were my grandfather, who was an architect in the San Fransico area and an uncle who was a commerical artist who designed the girl watcher sunglasses.

As an artist, I'm my own worst critic and I probably wouldn't be posting very many photos of my paintings, but this blog is my painting journal to see my own improvement as I strive to reach my goals. Of course it is nice to get imput from others artists. My goal is to gain confidence and loosen-up in my style as in the artists that I admire. Some days I think my brain is wired just to do realistic work. I would also love to paint work that has a "timeless" quality where it would be enjoyable to a buyer over a long period of time. Classic art in museums have this quality to them and it is loved by many generations. Someday, I may paint that masterpiece!

As a child I was always drawing, coloring with crayons, and doing "oil paintings by numbers". When I was about 11 or 12 years old I painted this painting of my horse and my mother and father were very impressed and encouraged me to continue painting. It is uplifting to get feedback from other famous artists when you post a painting on social media and they take their time to respond and compliment your work. It gives you hope and the desire to carry on. I also have shown my watercolor paintings in the Montana Watercolor Society's show and received some awards and nice compliments by the judges.

The artists that I admire and study their techniques are:


Joseph Zbukvic
Shirley Trevena
Liu Yi
Ted Nuttall
Jeannie McGuire

Oil painters:

Mike Wise
Richard Schmid
Colley Whisson
Tibor Nagy

I have many, many more artists that I follow and admire so it would be hard to list them all.

My other interests, hobbies and bussinesses are my Etsy Shop for Susan Liles where I do typography subway signs for customers' family memory boards.

This keeps me very busy around the holidays. I also love to get outside and work in the yard and garden.

My 10' trailing nasturtiums that have climbed my rhododendron and bushes!

I also love to travel and explore our area in which we live and snoop around in vintage shops and find treasures for the house.

During one of our trips I found the house my parents rented when I was first born. It is very old now and has changed from the description my Mother gave me.

Old rental in Drain, Oregon

Thanks for stopping by to read my blog, visit my Etsy shop, or my website.


Julie Ford Oliver said...

I really enjoyed this post, Susan. Thanks for sharing your reasons
for starting your blog... similar to my own.
Impressed how you found that painting is in your blood and how
proud you must be to know of your relatives's successes.
Sargent - now there is a huge influence on many artists so you are in
good company. I agree with all on the list.
It was nice reading about your personal goals in art. I think art is lifelong
learning and growth. We are so lucky to have it in our lives.

Susan Liles said...

Julie, thanks for your nice comments. As artists we have many of the same goals, some take different routes, have different experiences, but if we press on we can get there. Being born with a family talent doesn't make it easy though...I still have the ones that end up in the garbage or are "scrapers" with a spachala.

suzanneberry said...

What a lovely post this is Susan!! I so enjoyed reading it and am inspired by it. Thank you so much.

And thank you as well for your very kind words on the pup, much appreciated!