Susan Brabeau - Artist from Wendell, NCAFFILIATIONS

  • AWA: American Women Artists - associate member
  • FALC: Fine Art League of Cary - member
  • Raleigh Art Space - juried membership
  • WPSE: Women Painters of the Southeast - signature member
  • OPA: Oil Painters of America - associate member



Click Here to read the Artist’s resume



When I think about what I’d like to know about a person, it would be what influenced them to be the person they are today.  So here goes, short sentences and thoughts.  I am the person who is carrying on all the hopes and dreams of my entire family going back generations.  My home is filled with their cherished possessions and now they are my cherished possessions.  I am the great granddaughter of an incredible stone sculptor who brought his family to America from Germany.  I share his passion to create and offer it up to others.  I am the artist who carries on a love for the beauty in a humble face and desperately needs to put it on canvas.  All three of my Great uncles were portrait painters.

I graduated with a teaching degree in math and science from Michigan State University, did the beauty pageant circuit, sang my way through school singing with a big band in Detroit, sang for two presidents, sang the soundtrack for a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award, was an actress in New York, was the female lead in a musical called Shenandoah on Broadway.  But here is the important part.  I am a wife, a mother and am devoted to the care and rescue of animals of all kinds, all of this on my wonderful old farm in North Carolina.  I carried a newborn bunny in my shirt for 4 days to keep him warm after he lost his Mom.  Life is so precious.  Very seldom will you find any of my work without animals in them.  They are my best friends at home.

After 25 years of constant painting and exploring my craft, I am now only seeing a glimmer of what I can do as an artist.  Hard times have made me search my heart for what is really important for me to put on canvas and how I want to do it.  Life is good!



My purpose when I paint is to create images of people living their everyday life; struggling, laughing, enjoying; reacting to the world around them. These scenes are of gentler, sweeter times when life was not hectic when we took time to pass the afternoon on the porch gabbing with a neighbor. As the artist I become part of the story. When I work with my models it’s as if I am a director of a movie and as the actor and I banter back and forth, they end up, many times going ahead and doing it their way and most of the time that is even better because it’s their personal expressions that make the magic happen. I am intrigued with the stop action moment and how wonderfully it can tell so much about people and I am inspired by observing everyday little nuances in life. I don’t have to go far….the grocery store, the DMV the dog park a family gathering, etc. It’s so simple and so real. Children have a beautiful innocence, not pretentious, as do older women who have moved passed the years of caring about what somebody else might think of them. They just want to enjoy the moment and get on with the day. No matter what I paint it is always important to me to bring joy to the viewer with humor and to include small details that intrigue the viewer to take a closer look. 

As I have grown as a person so has my journey to explore other avenues in art. I have a house-full of my family’s many generations of what I call “stuff”, shoes, clothes, victrolas, furniture of all kinds and pieces of their art (I come from a family of stone sculptors and portrait painters). I became fascinated with STILL LIFES of personal items from the past. As spring arrives every year, in keeping with my love of gardening (I was raised with gardening), I feel the urge to paint what I see outside my farmhouse door. My cabbage patch, wormholes and all, is my latest testament to Mother Nature. I love detail in everything in my life, my art work is no exception. I use very small brushes, sometimes a needle or a bird feather quill and I use very fine-toothed linen or a nice smooth board. I try to paint from real life as much as possible, but some of my scenes of people do require photography that I take into my studio to make it just right to my liking. As I always say “If I don’t like it, nobody else will either! “  

Susan Brabeau                                                                                                                     


Copyright © 2009 Susan Brabeau
Copyright to all images displayed on this site are owned by Susan Brabeau.
You may not sell, publish, license or otherwise distribute or use any of these images without written permission.
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