Artist's Statement - by Suzanne Gaudette Way

I feel truly blessed...

I mean it. I am very blessed to have discovered this talent and started my new career in 1993 after 20 years of office management. I had no formal lessons in art and it was a miracle from God that led me down this path that I never would have believed could happen. 
If my portfolio doesn’t prove there is a God, then I don’t know what other logical explanation you could find for how I do what I do. I guess it’s like the baby bird who grows up and without any help, knows exactly how to build the same kind of nest her mother made. Every type of bird builds a different intricate nest and does it perfectly every time and in every generation. The scientists cannot explain it. It’s must be a 'God thing'.
In 2004 and 2006 I attended short workshops to observe other artists methods and learned that I had already stumbled onto most of the concepts that they used. It was confirmation and very enjoyable to compare notes. It should always be energizing and encouraging to meet your peers in any career.

Apparently, I use a lot of methods that are very rare if heard of at all, such as pen & ink on canvas and pastel on canvas. I guess I just didn’t know any better and have been wildly creative and enjoying every minute of it. I also paint in oil, acrylic, watercolor and gouache and sculpt in clay. My pen & inks are highly detailed while my paintings range from realistic portraits to impressionistic landscapes to my Asian abstract series. I got a late start and wanted to try it all and then some! That I could open a commercial gallery in September 2005 and now 11 years later, still be in business is another miracle indeed. 

I have been teaching drawing since about 1999.  All I did during the first seven years of my art career was in black and white; drawing houses, historic buildings and animals in pen & ink on canvas. I became known for using that unusual method. In the year 2000, I started painting in color and was surprised at how easily it came to me. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had realized that working exclusively in black and white for so long, I had learned how to use the 'value scale' in a practical way, not even knowing what it was!

By 2002, my classes included all mediums.  I start all my students, whether adults or children, with drawing. It has rapidly become nearly a lost art as technology and expediency have led too many artists to trace, project and paint over printed images.   If you learn the concepts and skills of drawing in pencil at first, all of your painting will improve because you are really 'drawing with your brush'.

You often hear people say that painting is fun and drawing is work….. but AU CONTRAIRE!  It is so much more than  that!  Drawing the 'Suzy Way Way' (as my students call it),  is easy, logical and fun. Nobody flunks in my drawing classes. Drawing and painting are not two separate things. You draw with a pencil,  charcoal or a brush and the better you can do this, the more improved your finished paintings will be. Drawing is not about the tool your are using.  It IS about training your 'eye' (both of them!). If you don't train your 'eye', may paint over an incorrect drawing, and you will likely even make a mess of painting over a printed image. 

What makes it correct?  One test is if you can make it look the way you, the creative artist, want it to look.    BUT, remember that if you are accepting commissions to paint a client's much-loved pet poodle, it had better look like that particular dog and not just any poodle,  . There are no shortcuts to honest, enduring, original art, whether you are in this to please yourself and/or to please a paying client. 

- Suzy

P.S. - Click Here to Commission a Painting Today

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