Susan Melrath

susan-melrath-studio-9955As a kid one of my favorite things was a summer thunderstorm….dark skies, lightning, driving rain and booming thunder. I would bring a blanket and some coloring books onto the front porch of my home and just sit surrounded by all that violent, beautiful nature, while safely tucked away under the porch roof with a box of crayons.

After high school, I went to the University of Dijon and studied French for a year – a heartbreakingly beautiful language. I backpacked Europe for about a month before coming home – walked on the opposite shores of the Atlantic, ate french fries in Brussels, and oranges the size of cantaloupe in Crete, took a ferry with a bunch of gypsies, and saw the most magical ruins and beautiful art.

After a brief stint at a bore-ass job in the aerospace industry drawing exploded views of rocket motors, I spent several wonderful years as a freelance illustrator and made work for greeting card companies, book publishers, newspapers,   magazines and ad agencies.

I had my son when I turned 38 and quit working for a while to raise him. This is when my desire to paint deepened, and I stole time here and there to slip into the studio. What I discovered was a world of magic and metaphor in a painting process that has become a way of life.

My son is older now, and I have been painting solidly for the past decade. I have been honored with grants and a residency, and having my work included in public and private collections. Best of all, I have discovered my love of teaching, a vehicle for sharing the magic. And the beauty of it all is that I love what I get to do everyday – even more than I love thunderstorms.