My Artwork

A sample of my latest works.  More available in the Gallery


Studio Musings

What we’re up to, where you can find us, interesting Muskoka art news…


About Susan Ware


A Little Intro

My work reflects my love of the natural environment and the importance of finding the stillness in life. When I meditate I am able to connect to the beauty of creation and gain greater awareness of the patterns and cycles of the universe. In my work I try to express this awareness. Through change, growth occurs, and so I don’t limit my subject matter. We are all on a journey of discovery. I’m taking mine through art. I enjoy painting landscapes and the creatures that inhabit it, still life, and figures often with a close up view of these subjects. The media used is dictated by the subject and because of this I have work produced in watercolour, oils and acrylic.

My Process

When I begin a painting I choose a subject that resonates with me. I will take numerous photos, for example flowers, and choose one that I particularly like and think would translate into a good painting. That means that the picture or a section of the picture will check the boxes.

It will have an interesting subject, a good composition, changes in values and colour with a flow throughout the picture that will keep the viewers eye moving around. The movement in it is the rhythm of the painting. I also want, in the case of flowers and most of my work, the viewer to look closer at some things they might walk past or not notice with more than a glance. An example would be that you see a garden. The normal reaction is to say “What a pretty garden” but perhaps not look really closely at what is in fact in that garden other than roses, daises, pansies etc. We don’t often take the time to see that this flower, while generally similar to its neighbour, really has a completely different shape of petals, folds and even various colours within the main base colour. I ask the viewer to look closer.

Once I have made a decision on what to paint I will draw the image on paper or canvas depending on which media I am working in. For the purpose of this explanation I will use watercolour. I draw the image on the paper, refer to the photograph, even using a magnifying glass for small areas or blowing up the image from my camera to see details. This is important because I am enlarging the image and the details. I will begin painting, using the flower example, with the background, working a small section at a time. Once done I will start from the outside of the flower working inwards one petal at a time. Multiple glazes are used throughout the painting and I will readjust drawn lines as I go when they seem like they aren’t accurate enough. I notice these things more as I begin painting because I’m zeroing in on a small area. The centre is usually the last to be painted. The final stage is to look at the piece and figure out where adjustments need to be made. Tweak the values. This whole process, depending on the amount of detail, takes 40-80 hours. While some painters are loose and paint quickly and immediate I am not. Loose paintings can be beautiful but I paint the details and it takes longer. It’s a matter of artistic style, the way you paint, with a large spoonful of personality thrown in. They say “the devil is in the details” … well so am I .