As a child, my creativity first expressed itself through music: I started playing piano by ear at age five. Through most of my life, my piano has been a constant companion, only overshadowed by my animal friends. You see, my first and foremost love has always been animals. As an adult, I spent many years working in an administrative assistant capacity in a variety of industries, but I never forgot my first love.
Many years later, in 2002 at age 45, I picked up a paintbrush and started to paint for the first time in my life, and my chosen subject was, not surprisingly, animals. These initial paintings were on smooth river rock, using acrylic paints. These ‘rock pets’ were very popular commissioned pieces for clients who wanted their pets immortalized on a unique surface. However, in 2005, I felt ‘growing pains’, and was compelled to try my hand at oil painting on a flat surface. My chosen honoree as subject matter was wildlife, with the occasional domestic cat. Since that time, I have devoted my life to making a statement in paint for the wild ones, for all those who cannot speak for themselves.
I have no formal art training. Like my music, I paint ‘by ear’, or rather ‘by heart’. I have learned to listen to my inner self when creating, and my renderings are not necessarily structured realism; I prefer a more painterly style of pairing unusual colors with unusual strokes. I do not paint what I think others want to see; rather, I paint what I want others to see -- and to feel. I have been told that the eyes of my animals are haunting and provoking. To hear this tells me that I am doing my job well in ‘speaking’ for them through my art.
I exhibit and participate in both Lebanon and Chester County PA venues, including benefit auctions that give back to the community and of course sanctuaries and shelters who care for all creatures great and small. I also gain a great deal of inspiration from the wildlife who visit me each day on our forested property and who I am honored to call my friends.
I am also a wildlife and animal photographer. My nature and wildlife photography can be enjoyed at www.SusanAfflerbach.com.
ELMER'S RAINBOW... dedicated to the memory of a little black cat, Elmer, who shared my life for 15 wonderful years.
Here's to you, little one....
"See our world through the eyes of the innocent"