Deep in the heart of Evergreen lives acclaimed artist Susie Hyer. Born and raised in Roseland, New Jersey, Susie’s interest in all things creative began at an early age. Much of her youth was spent outside, which inspired her passion for nature and the outdoors. Susie reflects, “I was a really happy kid who always knew how to entertain myself. I was social, but never minded being alone.”
Her interior strength of being content alone was fed with all types of artistic mediums. “I was allowed to paint and draw whenever. We always had watercolor sets, paints, and crayons available. We’d get crafty presents for Christmases such as Colorforms or Easy Weave looms,” she says.
Susie would spend hours in her childhood basement painting with watercolors, building and decorating balsam wood planes, knitting, or completing needlepoint projects. By fifth grade, she had mastered the sewing machine and created her own clothing. To this day, she is an accomplished seamstress who can create most anything from scratch.
When it came time for Susie to enter college, she had no other wish but to study art. She received a scholarship and a Bachelor of Fine Art from Moravian University, PA, and pursued further studies at Baum School of Art and the University of West Florida. Little time was spent between her degrees and creating artwork for public consumption. Susie’s first gallery showing was in 1976, and she hasn’t paused since.
While she is widely known for her plein air landscape paintings, Susie is no one-trick pony. Her innovative mind is constantly at work trying new materials and ways of “putting down paint.” She works oil paints on cotton or linen canvas, geoboard, birch panels, or Masonite—each producing a slightly different stylistic end piece. As for inspiration, Susie dives into the world surrounding her, finding a muse in the beauty of mountains, creeks, wildlife, forests and beyond, and she states, “Any subject matter is fair game for a painting exploration, especially, but not always, if it doesn’t move.”
Susie’s stunning work has been featured in numerous galleries throughout the United States, and she is currently on display in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. Her art has been featured in countless publications including Southwest Art, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Plein Air. She is a prominent artist in the American Art Collector Series of Books and was recently awarded the prestigious Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from her alma mater, Moravian University.
While these accolades are a testament to her expansive artistic talent, they don’t speak to the very laid-back and engaging Susie, who hosts workshops at her studio and select Mexican locations. She is passionate about sharing her talent with others and is quick to smile and support, creating the perfect environment for any budding artist.
Susie captures the essence of her subjects through the most subtle of brushstrokes—each painting a story in and of itself. To catch an up-close look at some of her work, visit her booth at the Evergreen Fine Arts Festival on August 26 and 27 at Buchanan Fields. Or, register for a workshop and/or check out her full collection at susiehyerstudio.com.