~ Welcome to my ever-growing collection of surreal and whimsical images, drawn from timeless tales and the everyday events of life! Wandering here, you will surely find something that brings a smile or leads to quiet contemplation. I invite you to visit the Galleries, browse the Interviews, and return often for inspiration and the pure joy of picture and story combined ~
Pencils, paint and the thrill of a good tale are my inspiration. (Dreams, psychology and the Soul’s Journey inevitably find their way in too.) I like to make paintings that feel personal, almost private, like reading a favorite book under blankets with a flashlight. Making images is how I weave all the parts of my world together. Because stories (especially fairy tales) are amongst my favorite things, it is not surprising that my paintings look quite a bit like illustrations from a book.
Although you'll also find oil paintings here, I work mostly in watercolor today. Each painting starts with a detailed drawing on tracing paper. Sometimes an idea arrives all at once, clear in my mind, but more often, the objects and figures unfold gradually as I draw, erase, and draw again. I use a light box to transfer a successful drawing to archival paper, and the paper is soaked, stretched and allowed to dry before beginning with dip pen, ink and watercolors. Because watercolor is transparent, there is little room for drastic change--sometimes beginning again is the only option. But when the painting process goes well or surprises me wonderfully, no other medium compares to the glow and delicacy of watercolor.
Painting and drawing happens most days in my tiny studio. Lizards, deer, blue jays, jack rabbits, very tall trees and the occasional mountain lion, bear or skunk are my neighbors. They remind me that my own small story is part of the much larger and immensely inscrutable Mystery of Life.
My work has appeared in many publications, including Shaman's Drum, Magical Blend and Spirituality & Health, as well as inside and on the covers of books and catalogs. Two of my own illustrated story books, "The Emperor's Pear Tree" and "The Teapot's Tale," are currently seeking publishers.
All images © Susan Sorrell Hill ~ No copyrights are transferred or implied with the purchase of my original art or prints.