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Susan Harrison

Fall Open Space Small-2023-05-16-0001 - Sue H.jpg

I have lived in Coastal San Mateo County since the early 1980’s and my work is heavily influenced by these surroundings. I am largely self-taught but have been and continue to be guided by many of the excellent faculty members at the local community colleges. In my late teens and early 20’s, my stepfather, an architect engineer and lover of modern art, provided me with my first experiences with various forms of art and its ability to stimulate deep feelings. My aim is to create images that are recognizable and available to a broad range of people. In all cases, I choose to paint a subject because there is something about it that has moved me in a visceral way. I write poetry as well, and that poetic aesthetic translates into the feelings that make me want to paint something. I work both from photography and real life, although the ability to use the camera on my mobile device to capture something I see or more likely “feel” out of the corner of my eye is a very powerful tool. Although I describe myself as painting in a realist style, my paintings aren’t meant to capture an exact representation of the subject … how could I make a painting that is better or more real than life or nature itself? What I try to do with the image is to paint an emotion or feeling on the page. I work in a loose relaxed manner. I include details that express the essence of the image, literally and emotionally, and, hopefully, make art that is understandable by all. Sometimes the viewer may feel some of the things I feel, and sometimes they may simply be captivated by the literal image before them. Either way it brings me pleasure to share these images and feelings in some small way.

Fall Open Space

Cattle Gathering

View from Upper Grasshopper Trail head

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