"Three Graces", Oil on Linen
Colorado Trail near Tennessee Pass

Artist's Statement:

I have been striving to record my experiences interacting with the natural world since a child. I work in oil paints and pastels for the sheer strength and beauty of their pigments inspires experimentation and production of paintings that venerate my values. Each painting represents a solution to challenges in design, composition, color and value of hues and shapes. I work with oil paints in a juicy manner with brushes and palette knives applying color in shapes and swatches that develop into something recognized and remembered. The pastels are pure pigment and so immediate in application that they can be layered to create hues and tones that emulate the images I see and to which I respond.

Our world as we know it is threatened by the alarmingly diminishing environment for wildlife. I paint what is most valuable to me…the scenery of trees, rocks, streams and animals with which we share physical space. We live in a wonderful, mysterious and magical world outside our windows and I hope my work reminds viewers of the riches of the outdoors and urges them to consider its preservation and continuation.

Susan on her horse, Irish,
on the Colorado Trail


Susan is a Colorado artist who has been painting and drawing since she was a youngster. She has taken classes, workshops and has a fine arts degree.

Susan teaches painting to small classes in her home studio. She has work in private collections in Europe and Japan as well as the United States. She has participated and has been awarded in many juried exhibitions and has achieved signature membership in the Pastel Society of Colorado.

She loves the privilege of living in the foothills along the South Platte River and near the 500 mile long Colorado Trail which she has ridden on her horses. Inspiration for many of her paintings comes from scenes of wildlife, streams and rock formations seen from her saddle and other travels around the West. She enjoys painting “plein air” outdoors and is most at home in the Rocky mountains.

Susan works in oils and pastels and finds exciting subject matter in the natural world which she strives to share with viewers by focusing on the unusual views, local feral and domestic flora and fauna, thereby hoping to promote conservation and appreciation of wilderness. She works impressionistically so viewers can integrate their personal experiences into her work.

©2016-2018 Susan McKelvy
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