“How do we respond to the stark contrasts and overwhelming misery that exist in our world?”
- Susan Brooks
Susan Brooks is a children’s book illustrator, drawing on her own life experience in Mozambique, Africa, and Turkish Cypress to create original stories. Her images are prosaic, with notes of affectionate sentimentalism. “As an artist I am fascinated with the human countenance,” explains Brooks. “I believe every person is created in the image of God, having an inner light that can sometimes be captured or at least hinted at in great art. The challenge of creating a painting that gives the viewer pause, that causes them to feel a connection with the divine through beauty, keeps me returning to my first artistic love, portrait drawing and painting.”
On her website, Brooks talks about how some of her images are inspired by her encounters with poverty: “How do we respond to the stark contrasts and overwhelming misery that exist in our world? How can we help? Guilt and shame are not the answer. The answer is probably different for each one of us.”
Brooks taught art for many years, including her current position at Portland Christian School. She has worked in various mediums, but she uses primarily oil pastels now. “I have developed a style of painting with oil pastels that results in striking portraits that glow with dramatic light, various textures, and complementary color contrasts. I work with oil pastels on a textured surface of mat board or pastel paper, which allows me to build up many layers of color with a thick, buttery, texture in some areas, while leaving other areas thin, allowing the background colors and the texture of the surface to show. For me, working with oil pastels is the best of both worlds, allowing for painterly textures and colors combined with expressive mark making.”
Brooks is a member of the American Impressionist Society, Inc. & Louisville Visual Art, and has been included in Fine Art America’s Artist Listings.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts from Lipscomb University 1985; Master of Education from Indiana Wesleyan, 2007
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.