“Going Home” 16 x 20 En Plein Air

This painting is one that I painted “En Plein Air” near my home. It is a view of the road that I travel home on- in fact my home is on the left just past the curve up ahead in this painting. This land on the right of this road is sacred to me. I spent much of my time as a 4 and 5 year old riding in the combine with my Pop on this land. It is also the view I saw as I looked at out the large picture window of my childhood home that sits behind the viewer on the right side of this road. 
Until recently, there were no electric poles on this road. So when they began putting them up, I initially felt startled at the change and defensive for the space. But, being an artist, my eye quickly began composing scenes to paint with the new electric poles in the landscape. 
I have been asked, “Why put the light poles in the painting?” My answer is -for several reasons- 1. They balance the picture. 2. They lead you’re eye down the road 3. And lastly- because change happens: 4 year olds grow up, grandparents go to be with the Lord, someone else rents the farm land, a new owner buys your childhood home, and light poles go up.
 When you can’t change the inevitable, I say, keep finding beautiful compositions to paint. Hang on to the memories. I know that God gave me this gift of being an artist in order to help me and others to do both with our heads up because HE never changes.  There are no electric poles in heaven. And never will be. No one ever passes away there, and our home will always be with Him. So, while I live in this dirt- as sacred as it is to me- I want to keep my perspective. And in my painting and in life, the lightpoles have helped me do just that. 

Scenes from my February Workshop

I was honored to have very great artists in my “Painting People from Photo” workshop last week. It started on Valentine’s Day, and each found a box of chocolates waiting for them to let them know how grateful I was to share the day with them. The first day I presented a slide show of various ways I begin painting from photo, including step by step images of some of the latest portraits I have done. Then I began a demonstration of a painting and gave them the afternoon to begin their own. The next day was all about color. I demonstrated a way of mixing color that I found helpful to me. After this, I started a new painting based on a more direct method of painting color. Then they proceeded in their own paintings by adding color. The third day the students continued working in their paintings with me rotating around to help.

I was blown away at the talent in the room, and the camaraderie could not be better. It was truly an awesome time if seeing old friends and making new ones while doing what we all had fallen in love with- painting people.

Painting in Dallas

What an AWESOME city! Thank you, Dallas, and to my hosts, for a great stay as I worked on capturing photographs and a study for my next portrait commission. It was well worth the trip in order to meet and get to know this client and his family. They were very gracious, and the trip could not have been better.

I was also able to tour the beautiful campus of Southern Methodist University and the Meadows Art Museum. This museum captures one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. I saw works from Joaquin Sorolla, Francisco Jose de Goya, and Eduardo Chicharro, among others. At the end of my tour, I came across the portrait of the founder of this museum, Algur H. Meadows by Everett Raymond Kinstler, whom I greatly admire. What an inspiring time, and a great trip, as well. 

New 1 day intensive portrait workshop October 20

Logan and Bear” 24×30, oil

1 Day Portrait Workshop

Date: October 20

Time: 8:30-4:30

Place: Pontotoc, MS (Dot Courson Studio)

Cost: $150

Limited to 5 students for intense personalized instruction

Coming off the heels from studying with master portrait artist Michael Shane Neal, Susan will instruct an intense workshop for a small group of five students. Students should expect personalized instruction and individualized help painting portraits from photo.

To register: susanpattonart@gmail.com