Susan Lyon

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Susan Lyon
Judge For: 5th Annual Competition Month #3- December 2010

View Susan Lyon's Website


Susan Lyon  grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Her initial interest in art was sparked by a television show on Georgia O’Keefe. “I hadn’t seen art like that before. Her work touched me emotionally and seemed so personal -- a sort of window into her soul.” Lyon studied painting at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and  Chicago’s 100+ year-old Palette and Chisel Club. It is there she first began exhibiting and selling her work.

            Susan draws much inspiration from painters such as Zorn, Malavin, Sorolla, and Celia Beaux. Lyon’s technique is to paint wet on wet to start and then wet on dry for her finishing touches. She occasionally thins her oils with mineral spirits to obtain a balance of scratchy brush work against thick opaque strokes for the lights. “My style is realistic with as much impressionistic color as possible. I like to combine wide brushes for sweeping strokes in the background with small, soft brushes for subtle details in my center of interest.”

            Many of her ideas come from the everyday objects that surround her such as stuffed animals, dolls or the occasional curious kitten playfully exploring her studio. “What I hope to accomplish is to convey the whimsical beauty I see around me as well as to make the viewer smile when they look at my work. When I started out as an artist, I struggled against my own more feminine tastes. I feared people would not take a painting of stuffed animals or dolls seriously. Once I overcame this self-consciousness, I was happy to find that what I enjoy looking at day after day also reaches others. Even when I’m painting fairly traditional things, my greatest joy is figuring out original ways of setting up the most common of still life objects so that they appear dynamic.

            Susan Lyon lives in a rural area of North Carolina with her husband, artist Scott Burdick, whom she met at the Palette and Chisel in 1989 and married in 1993. She moved there to escape the hectic pace of city life as well as to experience an entirely different part of the country. Surrounded by nature, Susan’s studio allows her the space and privacy to grow as an artist. It also serves as a perfect home-base for her painting trips and travels which have included most of Europe, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, Canada, Nepal, Thailand, China, Peru, Tibet, India and Africa. “The excitement of traveling, seeing so many new sights, and incredible works in museums; combined with the challenge of painting on the spot make me a travel addict! Even before I go on a trip I’m planning the one after.”

            Susan’s mediums of choice are oil and charcoal, with occasional forays into watercolor.


Book of her paintings   “Visions and Voyages” published 2008

website –

Online educational videos through website and a Drawing the portrait DVD published by American Artist Magazine


Gallery Representation

Waterhouse Gallery,  Santa Barbara, CA  93109  (805) 962-8885


Germanton Gallery, Germanton, NC   (336) 969-6121


Sage Creek Gallery

200 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501     505-988-3444


Insight Gallery    Fredricksburg, TX