Artist Interview: Susan Kirsch

An inside look at the life of a successful watercolorist.

In 2004, I had the pleasure of writing an article about artists in the state of Idaho. There I met a wonderful watercolor artist by the name of Susan Kirsch. Here is some insight into her world from the interview I had with her.

How did you start painting? How long have you been painting?

Seven years ago, I had returned to the United States after living in Taiwan. My husband and I moved to Taiwan in 1995 when he was employed by Vanguard International Semiconductor. He worked for them for three years and then they started a branch in San Jose California. For a few years he telecommuted with Taiwan and San Jose. When Vanguard closed their US operations, my husband joined Micron here in Boise.

My husband (and furniture) was still there wrapping up business. Without someone to talk to and furniture to dust I found myself with free time. I decided to do something I had always wanted to do — take a watercolor class. I joined an adult education class at the high school and have been hooked on painting ever since.

What inspires you when you create?

I am inspired by the beauty of things around me. The way the light reveals things. The changes of the seasons additional reading. The cyclical nature of life. Life experiences. Shapes, colors. I am also inspired by words. Sometimes when I hear snippets of conversations, I visualize colors and patterns that Ilater put into a painting.

How often do work on your art? Once a week?Everyday? Is it your occupation? If so, is it full time? Part time?

I try to paint as often as I can. Sometimes this means every day. The first two years I painted, I painted seven days a week every week. Now, other aspects of art (sales, framing, taking art to be displayed art shows) actually take time away from painting. I am lucky to be able to do art without having another outside job.

How often do you sell your work?

I have art displayed for sale year round and I do a couple of shows in the summer.

Do you find that living in a small town helps you creativity?

I feel I could be creative anywhere I live, but I find Eagle, Idaho a very conducive environment. We have a pond behind our house where I can see wildlife. There is the wonderful Idaho sunshine and change of seasons(much appreciated after living in places where there weren’t four distinctive seasons.) I love hearing the red-winged blackbirds and the frogs. It has a very calming effect. Like all is well in my little corner of the world.

Kirsch’s Artist Statement:

To be an artist is to be an observer.  My watercolors are expressions of my observations, reactions and impressions of natural and man-made objects.  Many subjects interest me and I try to emphasize a mood or what seems interesting or unique.  I also like experimenting with color to find combinations that set up a vibrancy.  A successful painting is the product of years of thought and practice and a few hours of inspiration.