Winnipeg River Arts Council features visual artist Susan Sullivan, from Lester Beach. Born in Calgary, she has lived in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Roland. Five years ago, she left Winnipeg to live full time at Lester Beach.
Lately, with more time and opportunity, Sullivan has revisited her creativity. She works with ink, watercolors, and acrylics, and has recently added pan pastels and oils to her repertoire. She loves colour and shapes, and also loves trying out and mixing different artistic media. Presently, artist Nancy Lou Ateah mentors her.
Sullivan attributes her creativity to her family. As a child, she learned from her artist mother, and her brother, Michael Guindon, an Emily Carr graduate. She says, “Every Saturday, the three of us sat around the kitchen table and painted the day away. I grew up in a household that was always playing music, singing, dancing and creating art, sculpture, painting, drawings.”
As a teenager, she focused on fashion, making her own clothes. Later, she pursued Creative Writing at the University of Winnipeg. In her early fifties, she studied Apparel Design at University of Manitoba, immersing herself in drafting, draping and illustration.
She has exhibited and sold her art, most recently at Lac du Bonnet’s 2014 ArtWave Show and 2015 Eastman Judged Art Exhibition, and at Winnipeg’ s Cre8ery gallery, in 2016. She says, “Critiques at the judged show in Lac du Bonnet were more than encouraging.”
Sullivan loves that people say her art evokes emotions, and those who buy it say it continues to work its magic. She gets inspiration from the lake near her home, and the rising and setting of the sun, with various aspects of beach life finding vivid expression in her work.
When painting, she tries to capture what she sees with utter simplicity. She says, “Whether it’s acrylics or water color, I’m carried away to a Zen place, whenever I have a brush in hand, pushing paint around. Hours slip away; it seems like minutes.”