Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Daly Voss.
Susan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was always the class artist, from elementary school onward. In fourth grade, I was rejected from a district-wide art contest because the judges didn’t believe someone my age could have done the work.
I took that as a challenge to get even better and took after-school art classes, and summer workshops at the Jacksonville Children’s Museum, which was in a large historic home in Riverside.
Fast forward through many classes and a lot of art-making, and I eventually graduated from the University Of North Florida, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking That was just the beginning of my education. In 2002, I moved to NY and continued my studies there, at the Art Student’s League, and other workshops and artists in the area.
While there I was invited to become a member of the prestigious Salmagundi Club. Founded in 1871, and dedicated to the promotion and support of its artist members. In 2013, I returned to my hometown of Jacksonville and began painting from my studio in the CoRK Arts District in Riverside, not far from where I’d first started my studies at the Children’s Museum.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I don’t think life, in general, is ever a smooth road… much less a life dedicated to a career that’s not always understood or appreciated for the hard work it takes to accomplish. So often, artists are told how talented they are, as if it’s a gift from above.
More likely it’s a lifetime of hard work and study. It’s also not usually understood that visual artists are running a small business and that one has to wear many hats. Promotion, accounting, janitorial, planning, and logistics! And then trying to find time to paint! If I don’t show up for work, there’s nobody else to step in and take over.
So it’s not just sitting at my easel, painting and eating bonbons, wearing a beret and smock. More likely paint-splattered ragged paints and trying to figure out how I can get the paint out of my hair before I have to change clothes and go to the art opening tonight (because it’s important to network, and make connections! Remember… small business!).
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I primarily paint in oil on linen or panels. I’ve worked in a lot of other mediums but oil paint is my true love.
It can be thick and textured, or thin and transparent, with beautiful glazes that glow with reflected light. My primary interest is in color and light, and the way light shapes and affects the forms it touches. Lately, I’ve been painting still lifes, which are great because they allow me to control the lighting and the forms. I like to see how light wraps across shapes and how it affects color.
Color is one of my calling cards, I think. I’m hyper-aware of color, including the color of the light (I can’t stand being in a room where one light bulb is a different color temperature from the others. Yeah, I know, haha). I always have a color palette in mind when I start a painting. To me, it’s just as important as composition, and I want my work to glow with colors that interact with each other, either creating just a little tension or melting together with calmness and harmony.
I’ve lately become interested in the ocean and beaches, and I’m working on some drawings and oil sketches on that subject. I hope to be diving into some larger works this year where I can explore that light, and the big skies and dunes. Endless inspiration!
What would you say has been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lesson I’ve learned so far is to not be afraid to fail. I recently wiped out a painting I’d worked on for a couple of days, but I wasn’t upset about it.
I learned so much in those two days! If we don’t stretch to the point of failure, we never advance. Of course, there has to be balance, and sometimes it’s even beneficial to work on something simple, to reinforce our self-confidence… but to do that EVERY time would be staggeringly boring.
So yes… failure can be good. Just don’t let yourself see it as defeat!
- $250 to $3000 depending on size and complexity.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.susandalyvoss.com
- Instagram: @susan.daly.voss.art