This is the story of a young midwestern girl who longed to be an artist. At 10 years old, she asked her parents if she could enroll in an oil painting class. They purchased her the perfect paint kit and honored her wishes. Little did they know she would be bit by the creative bug. However, it would be 40 years before that same girl would become what she was meant to be—an artist.
Evergreen artist Susie Drucker grew up near Chicago in a northern lakefront community. The youngest of three spent her childhood riding bikes, playing in ravines, and sunning on the beaches. While she fell in love with painting at 10, she found other outlets for her creativity, such as dance, theater and fashion design. Art became a hobby she did on the side, in her free time.
She attended the University of Illinois and majored in dance. After year one, Susie very much wanted to leave and apply to the Chicago Institute of Art & Design. Much to her dismay, her parents didn’t approve, and since they were footing the bill, they preferred she stay and find a major that could earn her a living.
Susie spent the next 20 years utilizing the left side of her brain by working at her father’s software business. She started in sales and grew to become a software programmer, developer and designer. Interestingly, she loved the technical work. Plus, working within the family business allowed for a flexible schedule as she was recently married and started a family early on.
While the left side of her brain was doing its day job, the right side of Susie’s brain, the creative side, still longed for attention. After work, she’d tend to her family, then take art classes at night. “I just wanted to create beautiful things,” she reflected. Creating art is usually a solo activity, and rarely as a mother does one find such time. Susie would find herself sketching in front of the TV, working on sewing or intricate needlepoint projects while her family was around to allow for interactions.
Every evening art class and creative outlet led to the artist Susie Drucker is today. Once her daughters graduated college and began lives of their own, Susie and her husband moved to Evergreen to be surrounded by the natural beauty they fell in love with during several Colorado family vacations. Retirement granted Susie the time she needed to fully immerse herself in creating art.
Susie uses oil paint to create her pieces inspired by nature. She and her husband are avid hikers and Susie claims she’s “always looking down for fear of falling.” And on that ground is where she often finds her inspiration. Many of her pieces are magnifications of tiny flowers, dewy leaves—details that are usually overlooked. She also takes sweeping vistas and paints them in a miniature version. Susie has a true gift for amplifying beauty in the small things.
Susie works on one painting at a time and begins with a photograph of her muse. She’ll do several sketches of how she ultimately wants to represent her subject. Portrait or landscape? Large or small? A piece or whole? She then titles her painting and chooses her color palette. The rest flows naturally.
This story has a happy ending. That same midwestern girl with a dream has become an artist. Susie’s artwork is very personal and doesn’t necessarily fit into a simple category as most artists. “I paint things that bring me joy. If someone else loves it, I am elated.”
To see more of Susie’s artwork, visit her website at susiedrucker.com. She will also be showing her work at Center for the Arts Evergreen from 12/1-1/7 and displaying her work at Winterfest on 12/3.