I love to paint. It is my calling, and if I succeed, it is because He has equipped me.
I thank God for His grace to allow me to see. Truly see.
The first criteria I have when selecting a subject is that it means something to me or to the person I am doing it for. Then I consider the lighting. I have learned that a painting does not have to be highlighted, but it does need to capture whatever the mood of the light is in the subject.
I see colors in layers, and I paint in layers of color. There is nothing that I look
at that does not have at least 20 different colors in every part of it. To create these colors, I typically use the three primary colors and white to mix the panorama of colors that are there so that my painting has harmony. I find that the use of only primary colors does not limit me, but rather frees me from the prejudices of the premixed colors.
Currently I am working on pictures that capture my heritage. There is a scripture that says “Lines you have set for me have fallen in pleasant places,” and this is what I
am attempting to memorialize for my children so they will remember the
blessings in their life and the people who selflessly loved them. An example of this is the painting I did off my grandfather holding me on the bank of our catfish pond when I was 5 years old. When I look at that picture, I can still feel the coldness of sweat on his
shirt sleeves on the hot summer day. Another is where my Uncle is helping my
children plant pine seedlings, while at the same time planting seeds of a good
work ethic in their heart. I have plans for more paintings like that one, such
as one of my own children playing in the mud puddles of our garden in their
boots where they were not rushed to grow up too soon, and the picture I have of
us sitting picnic tables or tailgate of the truck shucking corn from the
garden with the smell of sweet, raw corn in the cool morning air. I hope when
we look back on it we can still smell and feel the air around us.
If you can see or feel something special when you look at my picture, I have accomplished a good painting. If you begin to see and feel more of God’s love for you as a result of my work, I have fulfilled my calling.
About the Artist
Susan is the wife of Jeff Patton, and the mother of Faith
Patton and John Morgan Patton. She is a physical therapist with North
Mississippi Medical Center when she is not homeschooling her children. Her
mother, Dot Courson, is a full-time artist. The only education Susan has had on
painting was from her mother’s advice, as well as from reading art books and
attending workshops from artists such as Dawn Whitelaw, Roger Dale Brown, and
John Pototchnick. Susan and Dot represented Mississippi artists in the
reception for the media at the 2008 Presidential Debate media reception at
Oxford, MS, where they did demonstrations and displayed their artwork.