Artist Suzy Nolan

An example of fine art by Suzy Nolan

Photo of Suzy Nolan


I often struggle to answer questions such as "why do you paint" or "when did you decide to become an artist?"

The short answer is, "I can't remember when I didn't do it".

Art is one of four constants in my life; three of which were first fueled by my Aunt Carol. She encouraged me with an activist's love of animals and a schoolteacher's love of books. She was also responsible for my first published
drawing--a blue cat--which she sent in to a magazine. I was maybe five years old, I don't remember it; I was told it was "scribbly". Spurred by an insatiable love of learning, the museums, libraries, and zoos were where I wanted to be. When King Tut's treasures came to Chicago in the '70's, I was blown away by the detail of work and the stylized nature of the images. The beautiful lapis and gold! The dark laquered Anubis! I was riveted and in love with Egyptian art. Early exposure to a variety of cultures reinforced in me a deep and abiding respect for the real worth of diversity- in all its glory of expression and style. 

The bulk of my childhood was spent alone reading or drawing. The young me dreamed of being a cartoonist for Disney, Don Bluth or Rankin-Bass (if I didn't become a zookeeper, park ranger, or a marine mammalogist). I would lay on the front room couch and gaze up at the rather mundane oil painting of sailboats on the wall beside me, so close up I was looking not at the image but at the paint, the lines, and brush marks. In the same room, another wall was covered with a Jack Denst mural, leafless trees in yellow, [...]

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