Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Feature: Suzy Pal

"Turn the Radio On" by Suzy Pal
It's Friday Feature day:)  Today I have the most talented Suzy Pal.  Suzy and I are both friends from Art Colony,  a professional artists blog group.  I am so inspired by her amazing compositions and sketching abilities.  And you must read her answer to the question what is the best you can give to artists, her answer is profound and true.  

To see more of her work visit her blog and website

"Turn the Radio On sketch" by Suzy Pal
How did you get your start?   All of my life I have done something creative. Before I started to school I was embroidering and making my own doll clothes, without any patterns. Then in the late 80’s I decided to try oil paint, and  found out I was allergic, switched to pencil and pastels, then in 1991 watercolors. Watercolors have been my favorite! In 2010 I started doing torn paper collages, and they have done well for me, as far as sales and teaching. My start was just jumping in, basically on my own. I had some help from local artist on how to get going, what to buy etc.

Then I found a book that helped me so much. It is listed in my techniques.

"Oil Cans" by Suzy Pal
What’s your artist journey so far?

I have worked very hard, long hours in my art room, trying to learn to paint.  Never having art in schools that I attended, I had no knowledge of any thing. Never heard of negative painting. didn’t know about warm or cool colors,…etc.

 After several years of trying, I started seeing an improvement, and things started happening.  I have taken a few workshops through the years, and it has helped me to see more of the art world, and other artists.  Just living in your own little world, painting what you want, you don’t get to see the big picture OR other artists. Some of my dearest friends are artists, and I would never have met them had I not gotten to go to them.

Where were you born? Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth Texas

If you could live anywhere where would you live?

Here, because my family is here! BUT for fun, if I had a choice, a big sprawling working ranch somewhere with horses, western, boots, hats, saddles…. cowboys, trees, and not much wind! With a stream running thru it! And that would probably have to be in Texas!


What’s your favorite thing to paint and why? Landscapes, still life, sketchbooks

I consider my self a nostalgic sentimental painter because I love old things, Rust, and I really do love the looks of ink and watercolor wash sketches. They are so fresh and spontaneous.

"Old Truck Sketch" by Suzy Pal
Could you talk about your painting techniques? 

Sure…I love to share whatever I have learned. When I started doing the watercolors, they were so kiddish, looked like I was in kindergarten! But I just couldn’t’ give up, and I happened onto this book:

Building Brilliant Watercolors by Judy D Treman, and it changed the way I painted! She has what she calls the disappearing purple, and I do all my paintings the way she shows.  After I shadow everything, then I start with the local color. But I also try to put down only one layer if I can, trying to get it as dark as it needs to be to begin with. I feel that my work looks ‘worked’ if I start layering too much. I just like the freshness of the paint untouched, If possible. (After the shadowing is done)

I think that is why I love the sketchbook ink and watercolor images. I normally put down color one time, and let it mingle where it touches. Also I like the black lines. I think I am a hard edge, line painter!

Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

Yes, I always use manganese blue , ultramarine blue, some turquoise, perm rose,

Quin, bright red (my fav) cad orange and thalo yellow green, plus other reds, yellows, etc.

"Old Barn Sketch" by Suzy Pal
Do you have a favorite artist? Other than the ‘artcolony’ people  of course,

G Harvey and Don Weller, Don Getz, Winslow Homer, Mary Whyte and Naomi Brotherton

 Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Naomi Brotherton and Marguerite Barron.  Naomi is a well-known artist from the Dallas Area, and she is in her 90’s and still teaching! She is awesome as an artist as well as a caring loving person., who encourages me each time we communicate.

Marguerite Barron was a dear friend from here that was an expert pastel portrait artist, who is in heaven now and probably doing portraits of the Saints! She made it to 90 also!

She always believed in me, always encouraged me, and always told me when we didn’t win in a show, ‘well…….we just have to get better!’ and she never failed to tell me every day that we talked that my art would go somewhere some day.  I believe that God blessed me with the friendship of these two dear ladies.

Suzy's art on the Christopher Cross CD
What have been some of your crowning achievements? My husband and kids..OH you mean art?

Probably getting signature status, Christopher Cross CD choosing my art for his Christmas album Licensing some of my work and being sold in stores! My new adventure  Having my watercolors on checks with Checkadvantage!  being published in an upcoming North Lights mixed media book titled "Incite-dreams Realized".    But you know what? Probably …really…Would be when people like my work enough to buy it for their home, or a gift.  When you paint something for someone and they cry because it was exactly what they wanted it is very touching.

What are five things you would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

Dreaming REALLY big??

  1. Getting into AWS. Or NWS.  (has always been my goal)
  2. Become a better painter (and person)
  3. Teaching more workshops (italy would be awesome!)
  4. Paint in Italy..(or France,Greece, Or Peru?)
  5. More sales, to help pay for my ‘habit’

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

My main advice for anybody who wants to learn to paint…Always buy the best supplies you can afford. Do not skimp. Only buy professional paint and paper…and good brushes.  It has taken me years to get a collection of good brushes.

Don’t think ‘I will buy this cheaper stuff till I learn…..”  The best supplies react differently!

 PAINT , paint and paint some more. Same with drawing. You will not learn from anybody or any workshop if you do not paint on your own. Don’t ever be afraid of trying something or experimenting. Nobody will know if it fails unless you tell them! But think of what you might learn in the process.

my Artist statement is:

It is JUST paint and paper, NOT a matter of life or death. JUST enjoy the process. That is what really counts!

"Sketch at Dr. Harkins" by Suzy Pal
What is the best advice that you have received as an artist? I am just now realizing this but it was years ago, when Don Getz told me to get rid of my pencil and eraser. I just wasn’t ready.  In Oct.

of this last year, I did just that. I picked up a fountain pen, and have been drawing something every day since that day. Only in ink. I am amazed at what that did for my drawing ability, plus my confidence.   And then I have heard …paint paint paint………

"Sketch at Dr. Harkins" by Suzy Pal


Chocolate or vanilla?


 Your dream vacation spot? Italy! And soon!

Book or movie? Movie, I am not a reader

Favorite author?   If I have to have oneJanette Oak Christian Books

Favorite movie? I am not much into movies. BUT I did like ‘The Cowboys’ and While you were sleeping.

Romance or comedy? Romance

Favorite dessert? 

Strawberry short cake

Night owl or morning person?

Morning person!

Thank you so much Suzy:)


  1. Oh her work is wonderful, Carrie! Thank you for featuring her. I am off to see if she has a blog!

  2. I had never heard of her, thank you! I always learn something.

  3. thank You Carrie for featuring me, and thank you Sue, CrimsonLeaves and Celia! I appreciate your kind words.
    yes I do have a website and blog.I believe Carrie has it posted at the beginning!

  4. Suzy has wonderful work here....I especially LOVE the old truck! thank you for sharing her beautiful work with us...great interview Carrie as always...

  5. That's a great article. You asked all the questions that I most wanted to know the answers to. She is an amazing artist with lots of good advice. I do have one more question though. Maybe I'll visit Suzy's website and see if I can find out how one goes about finding freelance jobs like designing CD covers and checks?

  6. Tes interviews sont toujours très plaisants à lire... J'aime beaucoup les réponses spontanées de cette artistes. Je suis très admiratives de son travail...
    La diversité des styles, du langage artistique devrais-je dire fait que dans ce monde nous avons une grande richesse.
    Gros bisous à vous deux.

  7. Wonderful interview! And her blog is just lovely :0)

  8. Great interview. I love Suzy's work. It is so creative. She is very talented.

  9. thanks everybody. Katherine when i get home I will answer your question.
    am having probs with computer here.