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Photo courtesy of Susan Baird.
Hoover artist Susan Baird with one of her paintings.
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Susan Baird is a Riverchase area resident and artist specializing in still life, landscape and interior oil paintings. The Hoover Sun recently sat down with Baird to talk about her art and why she enjoys it.
To see more of Baird’s work, visit susanbairdart.com.
Q Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A I am married to the love of my life and best friend, Dave, who is an anchor on ABC 33/40. We have two grown sons, John, a public defender living in Tuscaloosa who is soon to be married, and David, an artist teaching part of the year in France. My loyal studio companion is our 8-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chaucer. I have had the opportunity to do a little volunteer work with Cavalier Rescue of Alabama.
Q What drew you to painting?
A I have always been fascinated with visual arts, especially representational drawings and paintings. Like many children, I enjoyed drawing the people, places and objects around me. During my 19 years of teaching, I dreamed of someday having the time to paint.
After retirement, I began experimenting with watercolor, acrylic, graphite and oil paint. I took classes and workshops offered by some of my favorite artists and began to explore various subject matters that interested me. There are so many things one can learn about drawing and painting that I hope to spend the rest of my life exploring and experimenting with art.
Q Where does your inspiration come from?
A I find inspiration everywhere! As I answer your questions I am looking out at my backyard, which is a wooded area bathed in the golden late afternoon light. The sunlight makes the leaves sparkle. The long shadows from the trees are turning a beautiful shade of violet. Wildflowers in every color imaginable are starting to appear. These things I’m observing are constant elements in my paintings: the effects of light, interesting patterns, mysterious shadows, exquisite color.
Additionally, the works of accomplished artists, past and present, inspire me.
Q What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
A I am always delighted when someone wants to purchase one of my paintings for their home. One compliment I received recently was from a client who had purchased my painting of a late afternoon beach scene. She said looking at the painting brought her a sense of peace, so she hung it in her bedroom where she could see it as she fell asleep and awoke each morning. When I experienced this scene firsthand and was inspired to paint it, I had a sense that “all was right with the world.” It was good to know that inspiration was conveyed to the viewer.
Q What is the work you’re proudest of?
A The artworks I am proudest of are the paintings that hold special meaning for my clients.
For instance, the painting of a little dog, “Lucky,” was commissioned by friends who had adopted her from a local shelter. Our friend brought her to our home one day so that my husband and I could take some reference photos. Lucky’s eager-to-please nature made her so much fun to work with and her thick shaggy fur made her a blast to paint. She lived a long happy life with this family who say that her personality was captured in the painting that still makes them smile whenever they look at it.
Q What is something you would like to create in the future?
A I want to create more paintings depicting our wonderful surroundings here in Birmingham. Our city scenes, local cafes and stunning architecture are among the many features that make Birmingham a remarkable city in which to live and work.