I was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the SF Bay Area (Sunnyvale, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View). Now I live in Scotts Valley, near Santa Cruz, California.
Prior to retiring in October, 2011, I was an accountant for 25 years for a wealthy family. Weekends would find me at Santa Cruz Main Beach, playing sand volleyball. Now my spare time is filled with USTA tennis and painting.
I am a member of the Santa Cruz Oil Painters (SCOP) and Monterey Bay Plein Air Painters Assoc.(MBPAPA), where I enjoy plein air painting and the camaraderie of other local artists. I’ve always loved the outdoors and find the whole experience of attempting to capture the essence of a scene challenging and rewarding. Plein air painting is definitely more difficult than painting in my studio, but the finished product always means more to me.
I have studied for many years with Barbara Bailey Porter and credit her with my willingness to “stay loose” and more recently with my exposure to painting larger canvases.
My pastels instruction has been with Joan Hellenthal at Santa Cruz Art League. I love the direct application of color to paper, and the ease of blending colors.
On weekends, the workshops I’ve taken from Maggie Hellmann have taught me to take the time to sketch a couple of scenes, choose the best one and select the colors I wish to use to tell the story of the location. Her technique reinforces my natural tendency to leave out the details and play with the light and colors.
I want to thank my teachers – this creative outlet has given me great joy and their encouragement gave me the hope and the incentive to continue. I think everyone has artistic ability – the trick is to approach any new adventure without fear.
Sue Holmes's work will be on view for the month of July.
Visit her website here.