Susan Van Wyk
About the artist
- I live in Fleetwood, North Carolina, between West Jefferson and Boone in the northwest mountains of our state.
- I received a degree in fine arts and my teaching certification from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1975 and 1978.
- After teaching art at Ashe County High School for 23 years, I retired on December 31, 2011.
- When I started teaching art to high school students, my goal was to give them the tools for making art which was sadly lacking from my own art classes in college. Teaching students how to draw and how to mix paint using color theory was fine tuned over the years. I attended countless classes and workshops, and I'm still learning about painting, creativity and art.
- For most of my painting career, oils has been my primary medium. I often use photographs as an aid for choosing and referencing subject matter. Since retirement I've had many new experiences in painting, and at times I feel like a beginner again.
- Thanks to a grant through the Ashe County Arts Council, I spent several weeks doing some plein aire painting on west coast of Florida in December, 2012.
- During the winter of 2013, I created an aquatic mural for my sister; a painting of kayaks on the New River donated to raise funds for the New River Canoe Race; a wall of faux bricks for my daughter Jessica's apartment; colorwashed my bathroom walls with teal green; painfully painted a set of ornate chairs; and refinished a dining room table. Distractions, yes, but it got me through this long winter.
- Finally, getting back to making pictures, I'm once again getting out of my comfort zone. I now work with both acrylics and oils, and currently I'm learning how to paint using a palette knife..using this technique is forcing me to apply paint and color in a much freer and more abstract style.