About the Artist
The beautiful scene that graces our cover this month, "Wading on Sullivan's Island", reaches out and touches the soul of anyone who has ever enjoyed the Southern coast. Suzy Durband's paintings are masterful. The execution of color makes your heart soar, and the usage of light conjures up lovely memories. Her imagery depicts figures, set against beautiful landscapes with fanciful brush strokes, that allow peacefulness to creep through the viewer. Suzy uses "a bold color palette, but is not afraid to change and paint with a muted palette, using softer greys." Her ability to do so makes her work exciting and versatile.
Suzy Durband began her artistic journey in Oklahoma. She had been moving around a lot, being the wife of an Air Force Pilot, and raising two daughters. She studied watercolor with a group of military wives and picked up painting. "As a young girl, I won drawing contests and knew I wanted to learn painting. After becoming a full-time mother and wife, I decided it was now or never, so I dug my heels in and studied art more in depth. I ordered DVDs from my favorite artists and bought loads of books. I also spent hours on the Internet admiring artwork, and I ventured to museums in various cities. I attended workshops, too."
In 2003, the Durband family relocated to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, due to her husband's orders to report to the Charleston Air Force Base. Suzy began to study drawing and oil painting. She fell in love with Charleston's beauty and the people who called Charleston their home. "There is infinite beauty around us in landscapes. Living in Mt. Pleasant introduced me to the marshes and palmetto trees, and of course the Live Oak trees that keep their leaves all year. I felt inspired by the rich nature outside my doorsteps while living in the Lowcountry. I was always in the mood to grab my paintbrushes and paints. The people in the Lowcountry are just as colorful and delightful as the landscape-always warm-hearted and cheerful. I cherish the great friends I made in Charleston and Mt. Pleasant."
Among a few of her artistic inspirations are Mary Cassatt, for her mother and children paintings, and Edward Potthast, for his paintings of beaches and figures. She is a mother of two girls, and often includes them in her study paintings or drawings. She is inspired by the visible brush strokes of impressionism, focusing on correct, warm lighting.
In 2006, Suzy won second place in the North Charleston Art Exhibit and Best in Show at the First Federal People's Choice Art Exhibit in Charleston. In 2008, Suzy won first place at the same show. She is a member of the Charleston Artists Guild, the American Impressionist Society, the Portrait Society of America and the Oil Painters of America.
Suzy Durband and her family now live in the Washington, DC area, wishing that she could "have bottled up the morning and evening sunlight along the marshes of the Lowcountry and taken the beauty with her to DC". She is originally from Athens, Tennessee and will always be a true Southerner!