Her higher academic studies were in International Business and Law at Georgetown University, Art History and Fine Art from the Academy of Art University, and Drawing at the Maryland College of Art and Design. However, it has been her years of self-study in Art History, copying Master paintings, teaching, advising, and reading that has been her most fulfilling educational experience.
Susan believes that it takes a lifetime to develop an artistic skill and thus, began by copying the masters she loved, taking frequent workshops and college courses in art history, painting, drawing, portraiture, perspective, color theory, and more, all the time honing her artistic skills and developing her personality on canvas. She has studied under the tutelage of living masters such as Kevin MacPherson, Karin Wells, Peggy Baumgartner, Richard Schmid, and Dan Schultz, just to name a few, and has extensively studied the works of masters Helen VanWyk, Edward Hopper, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Lilla Cabot Perry, Augusta Renoir, Winslow Homer, and Elisabeth-Louise Vegee-Lebrun. Always the perpetual student, Susan continues to grow and develop her mastery of oil painting and understanding of Fine Art while raising a family.
In her professional career, Susan has become an accomplished artist, selling her paintings to collectors as far away as Italy and Paris, and to many collectors throughout the United States. She has had a number of successful one-woman exhibits and has won numerous competitions and recognition for her artwork.
Susan is also an accomplished entrepreneur and blogger. Her Red Easel organization provides inspiration and information for the visual artist and is her way of giving back to the visual arts community. You can visit Red Easel, Red Easel Gallery, and Red Easel Magazine at http://www.redeasel.com
Susan's personal blog, Raisin Toast, has provided her an opportunity to connect with other women and mothers around the world and has won a number of awards for her content and design. You can visit her blog at http://www.raisin-toast.com.
Susan lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she offers fine art workshops, and also teaches art, art appreciation, and art history to children in the community.
A NOTE FROM THE ARTIST:
I recently had a gallery director describe my work as follows: "Through a palette of vibrant color, eloquent form, consummate compositional aesthetics and paint as the purveyor of vision, ... the strength of Susan Vaughn's paintings resonates well in New York and with our international audience..."
I was humbled by this description.
I am an American Impressionist, and I try to bring reflective energy to every painting I create. I paint mostly in oils although I love pastels as well. When I paint and create I feel as though I am molding something beautiful. To me, it is not just simply a matter of value or color or even creation, but rather, an opportunity to capture the spirit and essence of the subject and connect with the viewer in many ways. I believe I must connect at some level with everything I paint, which probably explains why I have not covered miles of canvas in my career. I can't just stand before a canvas and paint just anything. If I don't feel it, I can't paint it with the expression that I believe every painting deserves. I hope that all the collectors and viewers of my artwork will connect with it on some personal level. I want my work to bring joy to the collector for many years to come.
* * * * * * *
I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit power.
The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made. I am a disciple of His.
I won't look back, give up, slow down, step away, be still, or be silent.
past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure in His arms.
I'm finished and done with living low, walking past the needy, planning selfishly, smooth knees,
colorless dreams, shallow visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and unreachable goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity,
position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity.
I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.
I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, lift my soul thru prayer,
and labor with His glorious power and grace.
My face will smile upon His creation,
my gait will be strong and forthright, my goal is Heaven.
My road may be narrow, my way may be rough,
my companions may be few.
But, I will know that my Guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
I am here to bring joy to my Creator.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversary,
negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity,
or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up,
paid up, and preached for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus.
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me.
And when He comes for His own,
He will have no problem recognizing me –
my banner will be clear.
-- Susan Vaughn
Inspired by a poem whose Author is unknown
I reworded this poem to reflect my personal faith and message