Susan Lyon grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Her initial interest in art was sparked by a television show on Georgia O’Keefe. She studied painting in Chicago at the American Academy of Art and the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, where she first began exhibiting and selling her work.
Lyon draws much inspiration from painters such as Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik, Anders Zorn, Philip Maliavin, Joaquin Sorolla, and Cecelia Beaux. Her technique is to paint wet on wet with a balance of scratchy brush work against thick, opaque strokes for the lights. “My style is an attempt to balance realistic and abstract passages with as much impressionistic color as possible,” she said. “I like to combine wide, sweeping strokes in the background with small, subtle details in my center of interest.”
Lyon — who won the Donald Teague Memorial Award for exceptional artwork on paper at the 2016 Prix de West — lives in a rural area of North Carolina with her husband, artist Scott Burdick, whom she met at the Palette and Chisel Academy. Surrounded by nature, her studio allows her the space and privacy to grow as an artist, and serves as a perfect home-base for this self-described travel addict’s painting trips all around the world. “Even before I go on a trip,” said Lyon, “I’m planning the one after.”