Painter, Teacher, Actor
Bio for Susan Viccars
I’ve drawn and painted since I was quite young. I am fortunate to have a mom who became a very good oil painter in mid life, she encouraged my artistic interest. I was a prolific drawer from about the age of 4 onward. Like my mom, I became more serious about my art during my middle years when I returned to university for teacher training. Prior to this, when I was a stay at home mom, I went through a crafty phase. Once I received my teacher certification, I enrolled in a visual art diploma program and after a few years received a Masters in Art Education. I was fortunate to be able to take a lot of studio courses during this time in a whole variety of art processes and media at UBC and Emily Carr.
As a teacher in Richmond, I taught visual art at McNair Secondary for 8 years of my 19 year teaching career. That was a very creative time for me, in a hands-on and minds-on way. Now in retirement I’ve become involved with the The Canadian Federation of Artists with Active Status, the Richmond Artists’ Guild, and Men in Hats, a mainly Richmond based plein air painting group. Being out in the fresh air, choosing a subject, doing a few preliminary sketches, and then doing an almost complete work in one session is demanding and exciting.
A further post retirement venture in the arts is acting and modelling. I have had a principal agent for about 12 years. I book enough work each year to keep me interested and active in a variety of commercial and print projects.
My paintings are usually a product of on-site preliminary work captured in my sketch-book and/or with my camera. I’ve learned that doing a compositional study really helps make for a better painting when I work outdoors. I’m very drawn to colour and shape, not usually being all that concerned about recreating exact reality. I like to layer my colour so that the finished painting glows and the shapes are softened. I paint with acrylic on canvas and also with water colour.