Susan K Donley: Artist Statement
Throughout my career, my underlying motive hasn't changed, whether I've been producing art or teaching others. I've always been passionate about opening people's eyes to the wonders around them. Other artists dream of traveling the world, but I've always been fascinated with the everyday: family stories and folkways, local histories and traditions, nature right under our noses. My ultimate wish was that my students just woke up excited about the day ahead of them and greeted it with eyes wide open.
I have the same wish for my art: That it will inspire viewers to take a closer look at the treasures around them: their families, friends, pets, homes, and their heritage. With portraits, I create for my clients tangible memories of someone they love, symbols of important relationships to hold on to. I may have the best job in the world!
Whether I'm doing a portrait of a person or a pet, I try to minister to the soul. I'm very aware that I'm not drawing flesh and blood, but love and devotion. My greatest reward is being able to capture a spark of life that helps people hold on to a lasting memory of the love they share during both difficult and joyful times in their lives. Fellow artists have said "many artists have the technical skill to render a likeness, but you have the rare ability to capture a spark of life and personality" and "It's like you have a camera in your mind that goes right to the soul of the subject."
I feel honored when someone trusts me with their treasured memories, but I'm especially touched when I can help someone recover from a terrible loss or bitter memories. I've experienced such grief and found my art to be such a healing comfort to get beyond the pain and back in touch with the good. Memorial portraits can serve a special need when someone dies an early or violent death or after a long illness that blurs who the person was.
To summarize, in one sentence, my mission as a portrait artist is: To use my art to help people weather those tough times of mourning and loss, and to mark milestones and celebrate new beginnings.
I would consider it an honor to help you capture the spirit of a person or pet; create a lasting memorial to your loved one, honor the heroics of an ancestor, or help you work through a tragedy with the healing power of art:
- Call me at 412-212-3223 (tollfree Google Voice number) or contact me via the chat box at the top right of this page to discuss a custom portrait of someone close to your heart.
- Visit http://www.SusanDonley.com and http://www.PetsPictured.com for examples of my work and explanations of the media and techniques I use in my artwork.