Self-Portrait from Photo, Susan Donley. 8x8 inches. Graphite pencil on paper.
I'm currently sharing my life with a black Standard Poodle Rosie, though I have been owned in the past by a succession of dogs, cats, and birds. (Scratchboard, 12x9 inches, 2008)
I've been an artist for over 40 years, first selling my art in junior high -- $2 for a set of four pencil drawings of the Monkees! My career took me through art and museum education, instructional media, web design, and related disciplines. But the itch to pick up the low-tech pencil and draw has brought me back to my first love.
Sharing my life with a succession of beloved dogs, cats, birds, and bunnies taught me what truly unique personalities each of them had. Birds jockeying for position at the feeder confirmed my suspicions that every creature has its own character.
In my art I aim to capture animals' uniqueness, both to honor their Creator and to remind us all of the bonds we share with the domestic and wild creatures in our lives.
I love how the continuous tones of graphite on paper focus attention on the essential forms and textures, revealing the essence of my subject. For subjects that cry for color, I use watercolor, colored pencil, and oil pastel in any combination that does the job. The medium isn't as important to me as the character of the being I'm trying to bring to life on paper.
Finally, my latest work has been scratchboard, an unfortunately named engraving medium that combines the best of both worlds with minutely detailed texture and rich glowing color:
Sue's studio is in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, USA (a suburb of Pittsburgh), near the Oakmont Country Club.
Email: info @ petspictured.com
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