Oil painting of a mountain pass in the moonlight
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Moonlit Pass,” 12 x 28 in., oil on linen, 2020
Female artist painting outdoors in the snow in her winter gear.
Susan Hediger Matteson in her winter painting gear — fur cap, not her hair! 

How did you get started and then develop your career?

Susan Hediger Matteson: As I child I used to stay with a lady who loved to do watercolors and drawings, and I was fascinated, and it became a huge influence on me. I had some wonderful art teachers in middle and high school, and these teachers pushed us as students, to create in various mediums plus public works and murals. This approach promoted a wide range of disciplines, and I feel I was very lucky to have been a part of that. I find it sad now that most public schools don’t support the arts like they used to; it is truly a loss for everyone and a lost opportunity for some.

When I started attending Southern Illinois University, I declared my art major in the first semester. I earned my fine arts degree and continued on to earn a second degree in graphic design and Illustration to pay the bills garnering a strong sense of discipline along the way. I felt the rigors of graphics and illustration — meeting deadlines, having a good work ethic, were all something I thought were missing in the fine art section of my education. In my design career, I competed in various shows and earned awards in Print magazine and ADDYS.

After 20 years in the design field, I wanted to explore more of the fine art side of my training. I signed up for classes and studied with artists whose work I admired: David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Scott Christensen, Brian Blood, Kim English, Robert Liberace, Susan Lyons, Scott Burdick and Huihan Liu.

How do you find inspiration?

I love how light plays across a scene — whether a person or a place. Snow scenes are a constant favorite, especially when it is snowing.

What is the best thing about being an artist?

I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love going outside to paint en plein air but also like working in the studio. It is a lot like fishing — you are always going for the next big catch.

Who do you collect?

(Looking across my living room) – Anne Blair Brown, Jane Hunt, Hollis Williford, Veryl Goodnight, David Grossman, Scott Christensen, Brian Blood, Tiffany Stevenson, Kim English, Bill Gallen, Susan Lyons, John Poon, a couple of favorite local artists: Jerry Cohoe and Ed Singer.

Oil painting of the the moon on a snowy horizon
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Moonset,” 16 x 16 in., oil on linen, 2021 (Landscape Award of Excellence – OPA Western)
Oil painting of aspen tree trunks on a sunny day
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Reverence,” 36 x 27 in., oil on linen, 2020
Oil painting of the moon over a mountain
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Ute Mountain Moonset,” 30 x 30 in., oil on linen, 2021
Oil painting of snow covered mountains
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Winter’s Muse,” 11 x 14 in., oil on linen, 2020

To see more of Susan’s work, visit: www.susanmatteson.com


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