"I get letters from people about my work. The thing that pleases me most is that my work touches their feelings. In fact, they don't talk about the paintings. They end up telling me the story of their life or how their father died." -Andrew Wyeth
"Sometimes, I get an email from people or listen to a story about my paintings from someone who saw them. They tell me how my artwork made them feel and the memories they recalled with their family and friends. This is a deeply pleasing experience and what touches me the most now as an artist." -Susan Pragaspathy
At a young age, Susan attended exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago and started to imagine the creative life of an artist while growing up in western Michigan where there were few artists and a long tradition of farming. Wanting to be an artist was akin to wanting to be an astronaut. Regardless, Susan was drawn to artists who were skilled at draftsmanship and color. At 14, she studied French and was an exchange student in the Loire Valley which gave her access to the French capitol and its glorious museums. From her teens onward, she kept sketchbooks of drawings of the natural world and began painting at the age of 15.
Susan visited the Louvre, the Musee D’Orsay, etc. and realized that learning French helped her to see inspiring artwork and read letters by favorite artists. She studied Fine Art and languages at Indiana University at Bloomington. Knowing French allowed her to travel to see paintings in person, visit art museums and artists’ studios such as Delacroix’s and Monet’s. Susan returned to France again as an exchange student in Aix-en-Provence at the Aix-Marseille Université and completed a Master in Education at Aquinas College.
Susan stepped into a new world living in Boston after university. She found a vibrant group of artists, art shows and set foot into professional artists' studios. Susan continued to paint in a representational style while studying painting at the Museum School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and painting with artists in Brookline and Acton, Massachusetts.
While living in England, Susan began to focus on classical methods. She met artists who were seeking the same kind of training in representational art and began learning under professional artists in the French atelier style similar to how Monet, Van Gogh or Picasso would’ve studied. Susan studied under Giles Lester at the London Atelier of Representational Art and Sarah Simblet at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University drawing human anatomy, figure drawing and portrait painting. Returning to the USA, Susan continued her studies with Sara Lamb at the Grand Central Atelier in New York city and on the west coast with Justin Hess, Sadie Valeri and at BACAA.
Today, Susan works out of her north facing studio, lives in the Chicago area with her family and is training for the 2018 Chicago Marathon.
In becoming a painter, "I have realized that I have aligned myself with the history of visual representation that dates back to the beginning of humanity. I am humbled and grateful for the moments that have led me here. The ups and downs and the subtleties; such as seeing a pretty flower painted on baby’s cradle from the 1600s in an stark grey historical home in Sweden that reminded me of the connection between painting, joy, life and inspiration."
Thank you for stopping by! -Susan More