About the artist

Susan Schuhmacher’s artistic vision began in the rivers, woods, and sandy beaches around her hometown of Lancaster, South Carolina. She painted her first seascape in oils at age eight and won the USC Ext. Art Award in high school. Later, she obtained a degree in art from Columbia College and did post-graduate work at USC. She has worked in public and private art education, advertising, photography, crafts management, and art workshops. Today, she works between two studios in Raleigh, North Carolina, creating art in watercolor, acrylics, and collage.

Her recent works reflect the psychological and spiritual implications of "inner and outer" spaces or "conscious vs. subconscious" -- as in cliff dwellings, worn shells, bones, and flower pods. She also expresses the effects of abuse and addiction on individuals, families, and on such societies as the American Indian. Her experimental abstracts explore these subjects expressively and freely. In her more traditional nautical scenes, landscapes, florals, and still life paintings, she attempts to capture a feeling of inner peace and beauty through color, texture, and value.

In recent years, Susan has produced several topical series – a range of works in which the subject is explored in a progressive fashion, from a traditional realistic manner to an exaggerated, imaginative abstract. You can view an example of this in her Paper Birch series.

She has also explored the use of grids, in which negative white spaces are integrated into the painted rectangles and overall spatial design by the use of patterns, abstract designs, and color bands. Examples of this method are evident in Paths to the Sea, Carolina Lights, and School Daze.

Another of Susan’s favorite topics of expression is music. The many musicians that are part of Susan’s life and family have been the inspiration for capturing this powerful and influential element of human life. She absorbs the beat and rhythm of musical sound and displays it back to us again as a wonderfully rhythmic visual of fluid, abstract watercolors. Each of her paintings in the music series is influenced by memories of music, events, artists, and musicians. Her music series honors music and those musicians who share their gift with others.

A highly energetic and spiritual woman, Susan continues her growth process by studying with nationally-recognized artists through teaching, entering juried competitions, reading and meditation, and participating in a number of art organizations. She has received national and local recognition through numerous awards, competitions, and publications. Her original paintings and many limited edition prints are represented in a vast number of galleries as well as in corporate and private collections in the United States and other countries.