Susan Paterson was born in 1958 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She attended Mount Allison University receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1980. She has also attended Byam Shaw School of Art in London, England; NSCAD, Halifax; Academy of Realist Art, Toronto; School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Grand Central Atelier, New Hampshire. Her studies have been supported by an Elizabeth Greenshield’s grant, a Nova Scotia Arts Council grant and an Academy of Realist Art scholarship.
Susan has exhibited extensively across Canada since the early eighties, presenting more than thirty solo shows and many more group shows including ‘Capture 2014, Nova Scotia Realism’ juried by Tom Smart and Peter Dykuis which travelled throughout Nova Scotia and ‘Terrior, a Nova Scotia Survey’ at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. In 2019, her work was included in the Art Renewal Center Live Exhibition at the European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona and in 2021 was again included in the ARC live exhibition at Sotheby's in New York and the MEAM in Barcelona.
Susan’s work has been chosen as a finalist three times in the online BoldBrush painting competition, three times in the still life category of Art Renewal Center’s Annual International Salon and three times in International Artist magazine’s competition. She won second place in the ARC 14th Salon Still Life Category, a Purchase Award and Fashion Week San Diego Award in the ARC 15th Salon and third place in the Boldbrush painting competition. As well she was chosen for artist residencies at Port Bickerton Lighthouse, Port Bickerton, NS and Sherbrooke Village, NS.
Her work is in private, public and corporate collections all over the world including the City of Dartmouth, Art Renewal Center, Nova Scotia Art Bank, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the University of New Brunswick, Bell Canada, Husky Oil, Magna International, Oshawa Foods, Citibank, Olympia and York Developments and K.K. Sakai, Tokyo, Japan.
Publications featuring Susan’s work include ‘From Land and Sea: Nova Scotia’s Contemporary Landscape Artists’; ‘Take your Time with Each Step’, International Artist magazine and ‘Master Painters’, International Artist magazine. She has been commissioned by the Dept. of Medicine, Dalhousie Univ., Heritage Museum, Dartmouth; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Sherbrooke Village and Mount Allison Football Program.
My work evokes the past, both in technique and in subject. I do highly detailed studies of landscape, florals and everyday objects, capturing the subtleties of the light, colour and textures that are so fascinating but so often overlooked. When I’m painting I love getting lost in the details and the challenge of creating an illusion that explains how I feel about what I see. I’m fascinated by light and how it describes form, changes colours, is reflected back and disappears into the dark depths of a background. I work in subdued colours, preferring the subtleties of the subject to stand out. I get great pleasure from slowing down, spending hours intently observing and trying to capture the incredible beauty that surrounds us.
Susan was part of the exhibition "Searching for Realism" and documentary that takes you for a tour of Nova Scotia into the studios of some of the area’s best artists and celebrates contemporary realism in Nova Scotia.
Established in 1976, Gallery 78 represents artworks of established and emerging Atlantic Canadian artists.
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