MY NAME IS SUSAN LEACH
I grew up in New England in a home full of antiques and was driven to draw and paint all the time! I studied painting in college and earned a BFA at the Hartford Art School. I also studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, Yale University, and Paier College of Art. My work has been selected numerous times for the Directory of Traditional American Crafts which showcases the best historically informed handwork in America today. To learn more about this honor and which pieces were selected, click here.
My combined love for painting and American history brings me to where I am today as an itinerant muralist and painter of early American life.
I am fortunate to have 3 wonderful adult children and a sweet granddaughter and a feisty Scottish Terrier named Angus MacDuff. My dear husband is my partner now in my artistic endeavors and most treasured friend. With Bill’s carpentry skills, I can paint the fire boards and Tavern signs I have always wanted to create.
I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t compelled to draw and paint things that I found beautiful or funny or interesting. I would try to draw my parents’ friends during dinner parties long before I understood vanity. I learned some rules of portraiture early on. My frustration was intense when my untrained and uncoordinated hands and Crayola art supplies would not create the work I was envisioning. Practice, training under dedicated teachers at Rhode Island School of Design while I was still in High School, The Hartford Art School, where I earned a BFA in 1991, as well as Yale University and Paier College of Art and genuine love for visual arts bring me to where I am today.
My fascination with Early American history goes back as far as I can remember. My grandparents lived in a beautiful 1850 farmhouse in Vermont that I loved visiting and I remember my grandmother explaining how a wooden butter churn worked. I was 5years old and hooked. My parents and grandparents were interested in our genealogy and instilled pride in me regarding my rugged pilgrim ancestors and Revolutionary war veterans. I have included a photo of a drawing I made in kindergarten. “ I want to learn more about George Washington .” I still do! Almost every painting I create is of another time. I am obsessed with mid century Americana and the idealization of housewifery and suburbia. I could paint George Washington and scenes from Bewitched all day every day. Throw in the occasional Santa and I would never leave my studio!
This isn’t your typical Artists’ Statement. If you want to read about how, “ Im inspired by the biomorphic shapes ….color as means of translating human conflict ……inspired by Kafka….” You will be disappointed in me. I paint from my heart. I paint to delight and please the eye. If it’s not a work of joy, I’m not wasting a minute of my day on it. My goal is to have the viewer uplifted. To evoke emotions and sentiments that are heartwarming, nostalgic or comical.
SOOO MANY NAMES........
So, you may be wondering, “is this artist Susan Dwyer?” Yes, I was. I was born Susan Reynolds and I married while still in Art School, then I was Susan Hunziker. I was single for a few years and then I was Susan Dwyer for 17 years. I gained some recognition under the name Dwyer so I am often listed as Susan Dwyer Leach , but Im working on simplifying! As of 2019, I am very happily Susan Leach. I married my first Love, Bill and we are having a ball working and playing together. No more names! It is all me, see the signatures? Collecting my artwork is like a name scavenger hunt.
THINGS I AM
I adore my husband and friend, Bill. My beloved children, Greta, Elsa and Peter are amazing adults I am beyond proud of and my granddaughter, Rose is an absolute joy in my life. Angus MacDuff is my feisty Scottish Terrier, and you will find him in many paintings. He is so handsome. Bill, angus and I live and work happily in our mid century American cape with a decidedly early American flair. My decorating goal is Lucy and Ricky’s farmhouse in Westport. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up ….sigh. I love being a nurse and leaving the hospital tired after a shift knowing that I made someone’s day better. I love Pyrex and collecting tins, baking and winter nights when the house is lit by candles and a fire in the hearth, family birthday parties, Christmas, New England and its seasons and history, Halloween decorations and the ice cream man, pop culture of the 1970s and old cookbooks. I love making art.