“Each time I start a watercolor, the challenge begins. I am just so curious as to what this painting will bring to me. Planning and design are very important, but the juicy, intuitive process brings many surprises.  I want to transform the blank page into a new way to see a scene or image. I like playing with pigment, dramatizing the image with bold unexpected color. Watercolor is always surprising and every painting is a little journey into the unexpected. I don’t know that I am always totally in charge, but watercolor is a welcome, if unpredictable, partner in my adventure.” 

 – Susan Christensen

Susan is a watercolor artist who enjoys the challenge of using pure, clean, vibrant, transparent watercolor to capture the emotional essence of everyday life on paper.  She grew up in the small town of Bardstown in the central part of Kentucky, next door to the bluegrass. This charming, historic town is the “Most Beautiful Small Town in America” and is surrounded by “knobs”, low hills, and filled with historical architectural features including the authentic My Old Kentucky Home as in the song. These provide strong influences and daily sources of inspiration.  But Susan’s roadmaps and passport provide other stimulating backdrops for her work.

Susan’s love of travel and experiencing other cultures, landscapes, and people meshes with her love of art because she enjoys re-experiencing the highpoints of her adventures through her paintings.  Recent travels include Austria—Vienna city streets and mountains in Salzburg were particularly inspiring. The mountains of North Carolina and the beautifully historic Biltmore mansion as well as the funky little towns that were stops on her travels prompted a series of paintings. A favorite trip took Susan to the Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria with a group of artists who were all learning the history of the regions and painting on a daily basis.

Susan received a degree in art from Webster College in St Louis, Mo. She enjoyed the art of batik for many years showing her work in regional shows in St Louis and the Midwest. Moving back to Kentucky in the 80’s prompted her to make a change in her medium. “Twenty years ago I took a watercolor class and then on a whim went to a watercolor workshop at a bed and breakfast in upstate NY. I had been looking for a more spontaneous and fluid art form.  Watercolor was the answer to my search. I have had a love affair with watercolor ever since.”

Because of her career as a special education and early childhood teacher, her art is influenced by children’s spontaneity creating a joyful playfulness in her work. Even after shifting her focus to her art full-time, youthful exuberance subtly impacts the tone of her paintings.

Susan loves to learn and continues to expand her knowledge and hone her skills though workshops with internationally known artists with various specializations—John Saliminen, Fealing Lin, Ted Nuttall, and Sue Archer. Each time she studies with these talented painters she learns new techniques that give added dimension and depth to her work.

1970 |  BA in Art Webster College | St Louis, MO

1989 | Masters in Early Childhood Ed | University of Louisville

I have studied with 20+ internationally known watercolorists over the past 20 years   

KY Watercolor Society

Fine Arts Bardstown Society

Central KY Artist Guild

  • Art Happening St. Louis
  • Carrilon Art Walk
  • Tilles Park Art Show
  • Melange
  • Vlasis Park
  • St Louis Craft Market
  • Greentree Festival and many other regional shows
  • 1978, 79, 81 | Solo Show at Ralston Purina Art Gallery
  • 1978, 79 | Invitational Show JCCA Art Gallery
  • 1985 Berea Arts and Crafts Festival | Berea
  • 1986 St James Art Festival | Louisville
  • 1996 Sutherland Gallery show at Actors Theatre Louisville
  • 2001 Solo show | Lionheart Gallery | Louisville
  • 2006 The Mark of Great Art sponsored by Makers Mark (art placed is venues in Barcelona, San Francisco)
  • 2008 Art Over Louisville at Artemesia | Merit honor purchase award
  • 2009 2 Gallopoluza miniature horses for auction
  • 2009 Solo show at Downward Dog Gallery | Bardstown
  • 2009 Picturesque at Artemesia Louisville
  • 2009 Aquaventure at the Ohio Valley Art League
  • 2009 A Brush with Bardstown plein aire award in Watercolor
  • 2009 and ’10 Aqueous Ky Watercolor Society National Show | Louisville
  • 2011 Solo Show at Gallery M Mellwood Louisville
  • 2012 Seaside and Countryside duo show at M Gallery
  • 2013 Aquaventure show at Tim Faulkner Gallery Louisville | Merit award

Fabs Art Gallery Bardstown

Old KY Home State Park Gallery

At Mary’s | Bardstown

KY Museum of Art and Craft | Louisville

KY Watercolor Society Gallery | Louisville

Damselfly Gallery | Midway