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Meet Susan De’Armond

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan De’Armond.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Love for the outdoors and art history converged in plein air painting for me. Love of nature goes back to childhood growing up among the orchards and forests in Michigan. I had a wonderful vantage point behind our home to take in the spectacular view that stretched nearly a mile in either direction. The mid-west weather put on quite a show of cumulus clouds forming into bright buttery mounds or roll dark and descending. I would wonder, “How would I paint that?” That is the seed of my plein air painting.

Studying Interior Design introduced me to watercolors used to render our visions. This gave me a love for the medium and architectural detail as well. It was fascinating to learn of the Impressionist painters during studies of Art History. They painted as I always imagined myself, on location a witness of nature!

Focus transitioned from career to family and came back full circle to wondering how I would paint that! I have had the pleasure of workshops with highly accomplished watercolorists like Frank Eber, Thomas Schaller, and Janice Cipriani-Willis, to name a few. I have taken up oil painting as of late, after exposure to so many fabulous oil artists in the area.

Now when I wonder how I would paint that… I just do!

Please tell us about your art.
Plein air painting by nature is done on location and is a special part of what I do. I enjoy it the most, although I do studio painting as well. Before I start painting on location, I like to get a sense of place, observe the light and atmosphere. I spend some time wandering around, sizing it up and coming up with a plan for the chosen view.

California, from ocean to mountain to desert to urban life, offers endless inspiration. Beyond that border, I have especially enjoyed our national parks like Zion and the Grand Canyon. The overwhelming scale is enough to humble anyone. I hope the take away for the viewer of my painting is that of respect and awe for these places that are like nowhere else on Earth!

It has occurred to me that our national parks and the beautiful wild places I visit are not guaranteed to be here in perpetuity. When I visit these places, it’s more than a desire to record my impression. I hope that I can show people the unique beauty there. I hope it will remind them that these places need our protection. Life is fragile, and so are these places and the life within.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
First, on a personal level, I really enjoy the process of creating. In watercolor, I love directing the flow of the pigment and coaxing it into what I want. I enjoy the challenge of capturing a scene before the light changes too much.

If a landscape or a scene, I hope it makes the viewer want to go there or wish they were there at that time. Still life, object or flower I hope it makes the viewer take a closer look. Maybe notice the curve of a petal, the color reflected on a building, light glowing through an umbrella or colors hidden in the shadows. Whether the viewer consciously knows why or not if the painting brings them joy or stirs their thoughts, it is a success.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Upcoming Shows:

Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave. Riverside, CA 92501 – “Member’s” show June 21 – Aug. 23, 2019

The Arts Colony, 510 W. Foothill Pkwy. Corona, CA 92882 – “Umbrella and Balloons” show July 20 – Aug. 31, 2019
My work is often at The Arts Colony.

Riverside Community Art Association, 3870 Lemon Street, Riverside, CA 92501
My work will be in periodic member shows.


Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Joan Coffey

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