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Susan Lyon | American Realist/Impressionist painter

Susan Lyon studied painting at the American Academy of Art and the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, both in Chicago. It is there she first began exhibiting and selling her oil painting art. At 23 she was the youngest winner of the prestigious Gold Medal, which she won two years in a row. She has won awards for her work exhibited at the Palette & Chisel Academy, the Oil Painters of America, and the Northwest Rendezvous Show. Lyon draws much inspiration from painters such as Zorn, Malavin, Sorolla, and Cecilia Beaux. Lyon’s technique is to paint wet-in-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 brushwork against thick opaque strokes for the lights. "My style is realistic with as much impressionistic color as possible", the artist says. "I like to combine wide brushes for sweeping strokes in the background with small, soft brushes for subtle details in my center of interest". The ideas for many of Susan’s paintings come from the everyday things that surround her home. Although Lyon’s main medium of choice is oil, she spends at least half her time working in such drawing media as charcoal and pastel. "I’ve always loved to draw and have kept working from life consistently ever since art school", she explains. "A few years ago I began to take my drawings more seriously and wanted people to see that a drawing could be just as important and aesthetic as any other piece of art". Lyon lives in rural North Carolina, which allows her the space and privacy to grow as an artist and also serves as the perfect home base for her international painting travels with her husband, the artist Scott Burdick.