I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, with traditional parents, and 3 (ok, I'm old enough to grudgingly admit this now) terrific brothers.  Sports ruled!  Art, not-so-much.  My family thought it was just pleasantly odd that I would start sketching my brother's big, stinky basketball shoes during dull moments in a Packer game.  They were all worn and crumpled (the shoes, that is, not the Packers) with dirty, fraying shoe-strings, just laying there in a damp corner, crying out for sketching!

In college I majored in English, staying out late, and interior design.  I was the mural painter of our dorm - the high point of my college career.  There was nothing better than facing a bare, concrete dorm wall, one brush in my hand, one in my teeth, balancing on a ladder, with paint all over my clothes, my sandals, the floor, my face, my roommate's face (don't ask).

Painting in watercolor was not even a thought in my head until I I took a class from Sandy Maudlin in 1994.  It changed everything. That is when I became aware, really for the first time, about how my choices had always been influenced by a sort of off-beat, slightly tilted, perception of the world.  And water-color art was the best way for me to share my view. I love the way the colors mix, the way the water flows.  It's bright or dark depending on my mood.  I can make paintings so detailed that they look like a photo, or so soft that they feel like a dream.  The important thing to me is that I bring to my work 65 years of seeing the world just a little differently.  And every one of my pieces is a labor of love - and every painting has a story. I would call my style whimsical.  Some of my things are slightly quirky. 

I don't have the kind of impressive credentials that artists often list in their bios. But over time I've won my share of awards and ribbons in Kokomo Art Association Shows, and my charity works have been pretty popular over the years. I've painted portraits and pets, architecture and florals, and am generally willing to try anything.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my paintings and cards.  And please check my website regularly.  I will be adding new items often.


Sue Barnhart