ABOUT SUZIE BAKER
Representational, painterly, impressionistic, and inspiring—these are all perfect ways to describe Suzie Greer Baker’s paintings. Yet, what matters most to the artist is recording her response to her subjects in a fresh, direct way.
“I aim to create paintings that communicate truth without telling the whole story,” says the artist, “and it’s so satisfying when a viewer tells me that one of my paintings conveys the spirit of the subject in a truthful way.”
Whether she’s painting a lush landscape on location, creating an evocative still life in the studio, or completing a commissioned portrait, Suzie paints with a loose, alla prima technique that is always evolving as she experiments with new approaches.
“I first landed on my preference for direct painting in college,” she recalls. “Although we explored many styles, I can point to one assignment that had a profound effect on me. My professor, Peter Jones, arranged two still lifes of simple flower cuttings in glass jars.
Once our palettes were loaded and brushes were ready, we had 30 minutes to finish each painting, one right after the other. I didn’t have time to overthink, I just painted. The result was a revelation of free and expressive mark-making that I strive for even to this day.”
One of Suzie’s favorite childhood recollections of making art involved her own very creative idea to make brown crayon shavings with a pair of safety scissors and glue them to a drawing of an owl. “I’m sure my teacher thought I was making a big mess,” she laughs, adding playfully, “and I’ve been making messes ever since.”
Her high school art teacher, Ken Tracy, and several college painting professors encouraged her passion for painting, yet Suzie’s pragmatic side led her to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising and Fine Arts from Louisiana Tech University.
Following her degree program, she worked as an ad agency Art Director before trading in her Pantone swatches for a brush and palette in 2008. The change was prompted by a move to the Middle East to pursue the next phase in her husband’s career, which created an opportunity for Suzie to devote herself full time to “the things that matter most,” including her fine art.
Honing her craft in those early days as a professional involved several workshops and an ongoing study of the great masters, past and present. “The best teachers are like great counselors,” she notes. “They don’t do it for you—they help you to do it for yourself.”
In recent years, Suzie has gained national acclaim, earning a stellar reputation for her versatility as both a plein-air landscape artist as well as a studio painter of still lifes, figurative works, and portraits. In fact, in the Art Renewal Center’s 13th International Salon, she was recognized in both the Plein Air and Figurative Categories, which is a truly remarkable achievement.
Among the many other awards she’s received recently are Best in Show and Artists Choice Awards at the Outdoor Painters Society’s Plein Air Southwest (2018), Best in Show at Shadows on the Teche (2018), the Irvine Museum Award and Montage Award at the 2018 Maui Plein Air Invitational, an Award of Excellence from American Women Artists’ Tucson Desert Art Museum Exhibition (2017), and the Artists’ Choice award at the 2017 Telluride Plein Air Festival.
Her award-winning paintings have been featured in such publications as Plein Air Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, and Southwest Art. Also known as a generous and uplifting teacher, Suzie has just produced her first art instruction video with Streamline Publishing.
This artist also believes in giving back to the community of artists, and she is proud to serve as a Board Member with the Oil Painters of America. “Serving on the board with OPA is and will be a highlight of my career, primarily because of the opportunity it gives me to serve my fellow artists,” she says.
“Being on the path of a working artist is a calling. I find helping others on their path a very satisfying pursuit.” She has also earned Signature Member status in numerous other prestigious art organizations: the American Impressionist Society, the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, the Outdoor Painters Society, the California Art Club, and American Women Artists.
The motivation behind all of this activity is Suzie’s overarching goal to continuously improve her abilities as an artist—to express her response to the world around her in ever more fascinating and innovative ways.
“I hope I will be painting until I’m an old woman,” she says. “I think in this life you can only be truly good at one thing or maybe a handful of things. The idea that I might have another 35 or 40 years to paint and explore my own personal creative direction is a compelling notion!”
On a personal note, Suzie adds, “I love to travel and meet new people, which makes me well suited for the somewhat itinerant life of a plein-air painter.” But when she’s not on the road painting, or teaching, Suzie makes her home in Shenandoah, Texas, with her husband and two college-aged children.
She says she loves, watching her kids become adults, eating good food around the dinner table, watching action movies with her son, and listening to audiobooks, but she absolutely hates ironing! To see more of Suzie’s work, please visit her website at suziebaker.com.
- PleinAir Magazine, Artist Profile, December/January 2017/18
- Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, More Than Just Faces, May/June Issue, 2017
- Plein Air Magazine, August/September Issue, 2015
- Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, 3 to Watch, July/August Issue, 2015
- Southwest Art, Artist to Watch, December Issue, 2014
- Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, September/October Issue, 2014
- Plein Air Magazine, October/November Issue, 2014
- Studied with Rob Liberace, Dan Gerhartz, Judy Carducci, Clayton J. Beck III, Jill Carver and Michael Lynch
- BA, Fine Arts and Advertising, Louisiana Tech University, 1992
- Tech Rome, Louisiana Tech University International Study Course, 1991
Work / Volunteer Experience
- Oil Painters of America, Board Member, 2013 - Present
- Baker Art and Design Studio, Owner, 2001 – Present
- The Focus Group, Art Director, 1995 - 1997
- Associated Marketing Services, Designer/Art Director, 1992 - 1995
- OPA - Oil Painters of America, Board Member - Signature Member
- PSA - Portrait Society of America
- AIS - American Impressionist Society - Signature Member
- NOAPS - National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society - Signature Member
- LPAPA - Laguna Plein Air Painters Association - Signature Member
- OPS - Outdoor Painters Society - Signature Member
- AWA - American Women Artist - Signature Member
- CAC - California Art Club - Associate Member
Exhibitions and Awards
- Plein Air Easton - Life on the Farm Award, 2018
- LPAPA Best in Plein Air - First Place, 2018
- Telluride Plein Air - People Choice and Third Place, 2018
- Outdoor Painters Society, Plein Air Southwest, Best in Show and Artists Choice, 2018
- Shadows on the Teche - Best in Show, 2018
- Maui Plein Air - Irvine Museum Merit Award, Montage Award, 2018
- OPA Western Regional - Award of Excellence, 2017
- 2017 Tucson Desert Art Museum Exhibition, American Women Artists - Award of Excellence, 2017
- 7th Annual Plein Air Salon Competition - Third Place Overall, and Best Plein Air August/September 2017.
- Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational - Directors Choice, 2017
- Telluride Plein Air - Artists Choice/Best in Show, 2017
- National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Online International - Third Place 201
- Shadows on the Teche Plein Air - Third Place, 2017
- Sedona Art Prize - 2nd Place overall, First Place, May 2017 and Finalist for the months of December 2016, January, February and April 2017
- Art Renewal Center - Publication Award, Collection Magazine Award, 2016
- Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational, Plein Air Magazine Award, 2016
- 13th Annual Telluride Plein Air - Paint Out Award, 2016
- Oil Painters of America 25th Annual National Juried Exhibition - Second Place, Plein Air Competition, 2016
- 6th Annual Plein Air Salon Competition, Plein Air Magazine - Best Sketchbook April/May, 2016
- National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Best of America, Best Composition, 2016
- Olmsted Plein Air, Renoir Best Figure in the Landscape, 2016
- Outdoor Painters Society, Plein Air Southwest Salon - Honorable Mention, 2016
- Richeson, Small Works, 2016
- EnPleinAir Texas, 2015 - Best West Texas Landscape
- Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational, 2015 - Exceptional Merit
- Kerrville Outdoor Painting Event, 2015 - Best of Show
- Richeson, Portrait Figure Show, 2015
- Oil Painters of America Salon, Plein Air Competition, First Place, 2015
- American Women Artists, Annual National Juried Competition, 2015
- Door County Plein Air Invitational, 2015
- American Impressionist Society, National Exhibition, 2015
- Oil Painters of America, Western Regional Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, 2015
- Women Painting Women Texas, Georgetown Art Center, 2015
- Art Renewal Center Salon, Finalist, Figurative, 2015
- Telluride Plein Air Invitational, 2014-2016
- Plein Air Salon, May/June First Place Overall, 2015
- Oil Painters of America, 24 Annual National Juried Exhibition, 2015
- Raymar Art Painting Finalist, 8th Annual Competition Months #5,#8,#12 2014-15
- Outdoor Painters Society, Plein Air Southwest Show, 2015
- Group Exhibition, Garden District Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2015
- 16th Annual Laguna Beach, Plein Air Painting Invitational, 2014
- NOAPS, 24th Best of America Exhibit, 2014
- American Impressionist Society, National Exhibition, 2014
- Plein Air Salon, June/July, Best Building, 2014
- Oil Painters of America, Western Regional Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Merit Award, 2014
- Telluride and Aspen Plein Air, 2014
- Portrait Society of America, Members Only - Outside the Box, Competition, 2nd Place, 2014
- Salon International, Greenhouse Fine Arts, 2014
- Outdoor Painters Society, Plein Air Southwest Salon, Artists Choice, 2014
- Outdoor Painters Society, Plein Air Southwest Salon, 2014
- National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society, International Fall On-line Exhibition, 2013
- Plein Air Paint Out, Humble, Texas, First Place, 2013
- Audubon Artists Incorporated, 71st Annual Exhibition, 2013
- NOAPS, 23rd Best of America Exhibit, 2013
- Raymar Art Painting Competition Finalists, 7th Annual Competition Month #6, 2013
- American Women Artists, 16th Annual National Juried Competition, 2013
- Oil Painters of America, Western Regional Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, 2013
- Oil Painters of America, 22 Annual National Juried Exhibition, 2013
- The Hunting Art Prize, Finalist, 2012
- &Eight, Exhibition, Hubble and Hudson, The Woodlands, Texas, 2012
- “7 Days in Kerala - 4 Artists 1 Exhibition", AlBareh Gallery, Bahrain 2010, opened by His Excellency the Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, Dr. George Joseph
- “Visions", American Womens' Association Exhibition, Bahrain National Arts Centre, 2010
- “Visions", American Womens' Association Exhibition, Bahrain Arts Centre, 2009