Susan Meyer Sinyai
In 1987, when my two daughters were young, I discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had previously received a BA in Sociology from UNC Chapel Hill, but now I wanted to study art. I enrolled in the Art Department at UNC Asheville, going on to complete my BFA in 1994 with the highest honors. Since graduating from UNCA, I have been a working artist, exhibiting in local galleries and winning awards in numerous local, regional and national shows. [You can see my complete CV here.}
Sharing my knowledge is something that has also become important to me. I’ve taught art at a local elementary school, as well as workshops in various venues, and I currently teach at Deerfield Retirement Community and 310Art here in Asheville, NC. I find joy in emboldening students of any age with an “I can do this!” spirit and helping them gain confidence in their painting endeavors. I have found that working with others enhances my own artistic development. I feel it is so important for painters at every level to continue to expand their skills and nurture their creative spirit. As an artist, education is on ongoing pursuit.
Early in my painting career I focused primarily on portraiture and was commissioned by UNCA in 1999 to paint the portrait of former Chancellor Samuel Shuman. But, because I have always been drawn to color, texture, and light, I found myself wandering from figurative painting, more drawn to the natural world as a source of inspiration. It is the enchanting, transient effects of light on the subject that I continually explore, attempting to capture that fleeting moment of perfect illumination. I love how light describes form, manipulates color, makes a dramatic statement; and I’m constantly amazed at how the quality of light can evoke mood and memories. This is what I hope to communicate in all genres of painting, but I have found the landscape is the richest of tapestries—the beautiful intricacies of a flower provide endless material for me to explore and discover. Through my painting, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for our physical world, realizing the transcendent beauty in the simplest and most everyday scenes.
Always I consider myself an oil painter, loving that medium because it is both predictable and challenging. But the pastel medium is my first love, compelling mainly for its vibrancy, its immediacy, its delicious depth of color and luscious texture. I find it extremely gratifying to develop a painting in pastel, as there is no drying time and the color remains true as layers are built up brilliantly and remain so.
It is so important that we appreciate the fragile and precious beauty of our natural world. My hope is that my visual interpretations can bring joy and a sense of serenity, making our fast-paced and tumultuous world intimate and comfortable, if even for only a moment.