GUEST ARTIST: Susan’s Easel

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Susan Feniak - Sweet Nothings - dog and pig - #doodlewash

Hello I am Susan Feniak (follow me on Instagram and Facebook!).  It is an honor and pleasure to be a featured artist on Doodlewash. I must thank Charlie for his continued support and for making me feel welcome.  He has become a good friend.

I have lived and worked in Salmon Arm and area for most of my life. For those of you that don’t know where that is, Salmon Arm is situated on the shores of Shuswap Lake in the southern interior of British Columbia Canada. I have been married for almost 42 years. Together my husband, I have raised two boys and now we get to enjoy four grandchildren. My day job is bookkeeping. To escape from that, the computer, and the rigors of everyday life, I found art.

In 2009, a daughter-in-law asked for an easel for Christmas. When I came home with it and thought about it for a while, I let my husband know that I would like to have an easel and art supplies too. That is how I got my start in art.

I will have to admit my first attempts were rather dismal. I am a determined person and continued, learning from trial and error. I am a self-taught artist and am not afraid to try different things.  Not anymore. I started with acrylics, and thanks to Charlie, I now dabble in watercolours.  At 60, one might say I am a late bloomer!

I am inspired by the world around me. Travels, gardens, walks, hours spent observing, photo’s I have taken, photo’s I come across are all just a few examples of what I use as cues, prompts or triggers.  Sometimes my imagination takes over and the next thing I know there is a painting, from nowhere.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Susan Feniak - boats - #doodlewash

We own a boat, so a lot of my paintings are of boats and the lake hanging up at our house.  The winters are long here, so those paintings give us a friendly reminder that boating season will return.  Then there are the walls in our dining room which have become home to the menagerie of animals that I have created.

When I paint with acrylics I don’t often draw the scene or character first unless it is very detailed.

I find I have to draw or at least sketch my idea for a watercolour painting before I start.  If I want a very loose feeling painting then I just go in with a brush and have at it.

At first my tools and supplies were inferior.  I have since graduated to better quality papers, brushes and paints.  And have been amazed by the difference the right tools make in the end results.  So believe me the expense is well worth it.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Susan Feniak - Full House - baby birds in nest - #doodlewash

I use Strathmore or Canson Aquarelle cold press paper for my simpler paintings.  Recently I picked up some Fabriano hot press paper which I really like.  It can take everything I throw at it.  Some day I hope to be good enough to try Arches as I hear that is the very best paper.  Last year I splurged and bought myself Pure Kolinski watercolour brushes.  Sizes 000,0,01 and 9.  I LOVE those brushes.  My paints are Holbein Artists Watercolors, a set of 12.  Owning some Daniel Smith paints is a dream that one day may come true.  When we are on the boat I have a travel set of Koi watercolours.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Susan Feniak - sea turtle - #doodlewash

At first, I was a bit timid when it came to watercolours so, I started by using watercolour pencils and crayons.  A girl has got to start somewhere!!  I still own them and haul them out every now and then.  There is a set of oil pastels in my repertoire as well, which I have played with and hope to use again one day soon.

#WorldWatercolorGroup - Watercolor by Susan Feniak - Blue Hydrangea - #doodlewash

Being a cancer survivor, I am thankful for every day I wake up and for every birthday I get to celebrate.  It’s been twenty one years since I was first diagnosed and here I am, still.  There is hope.  A good positive attitude goes a long way!

There is one more thing I am thankful for every day, and that is discovering art and the joy that world has brought me.

Susan Feniak
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Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in Featured Artists
43 Comments
  1. Susan Feniak 5 months ago

    Thank you Charlie. 😊❤

    • Author

      Thank you Susan!! I was so thrilled to finally get you doodlewashed!! hehe Thanks for being part of all of this and I’m thrilled to finally feature you and your wonderful art! 😃💕

  2. Jessica Seacrest 5 months ago

    Wonderful to see your feature Susan! As soon as I saw the top feature photo, I knew it was you 🙂

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Thank you Jessica. “Sweet Nothings” just happens to be one of my favorites. Not sure how Charlie knew that. 🙂

      • Jessica Seacrest 5 months ago

        I love it! And the title is so perfect <3

      • Author

        hehe… I remember from the way you talked about it when you first posted it. 😉 💕

      • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

        A busy guy like you and you remembered that? You are something Mr. Charlie O’Shields. Thank you for being you.

      • Author

        😊aww.. you made me blush… back at you, Susan! 💕

  3. […] https:/doodlewash.com/2017/05/03/guest-artist-susans-easel/ […]

  4. Teresa Robeson 5 months ago

    Susan always makes me smile with her whimsical art!

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Thank you Teresa. I always appreciate your kind comments.

  5. Agnès McLaughlin 5 months ago

    Wonderful to read Suzan that you are enjoying life to the full .Art is a great healer!

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Yes Agnes Art is a great healer and distraction. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to have a look at my art.

  6. […] My thanks to Charlie O’Shields at doodlewash.com and #worldwatercolorgroup for making me a featured artist today.  Many thanks for all the support.  Now if only I had some computer savy to figure out how to share all this properly.  I have spent all morning trying to share the link without success so if you wold like to see my feature on doodlewash.com here is the link  https://doodlewash.com/2017/05/03/guest-artist-susans-easel/ […]

  7. Kristen 5 months ago

    Amazing!!!! Story and art 🙂

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Thank you Kristen. I am pleased you enjoy my story and art. 🙂

  8. jmnowak 5 months ago

    Lovely! Especially drawn to those open beaks, so cute, the boats and thistle. 🙋

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Those wide open beaks are a draw aren’t they. Feed me, feed me…. thank you. 🙂

  9. Jodi 5 months ago

    Yay for Susan’s Feature!

  10. Carol 5 months ago

    What a great Doodlewash feature! Susan is a good blogger friend of mine, and I miss her creativity when she is away for a length of time. She has such a wide range of talent in producing interesting pieces from realistic to whimsical. It’s hard to believe that she is a “late bloomer.” 💖

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      How sweet of you to say all that Carol! Thank you. Hugs.

  11. Jill Kuhn 5 months ago

    I’m so glad you took up art, Susan!! I love your style!! 🎨👍 You prove that it is never to late to create!! 💜 YAY! Susan!!! Loved reading more about you – thanks Charlie for featuring my friend! 🦋

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Living proof and in color! Ha ha. Thank you Jill. It is a joy to have made friends threw our art. 🙂

  12. Sharon Bonin-Pratt 5 months ago

    Your art is absolutely joyful, Susan. At first I thought that must be because of those four grandchildren, and they may be partly responsible as well. But at the end you mentioned that you are a cancer survivor and so pleased to be alive that every day is a celebration. Your positive, uplifting energy shows in your work. Thank you for sharing your beautiful art and inspirations.

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Sharon your kind comment made me tear up. You get it. Being positive is how I get threw everyday. I hope my art puts a smile on the faces of those that see it. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to smile.

  13. YesterdayAfter 5 months ago

    That’s wonderful Susan congratulations for the feature! Right now you are doodlewashed too! I am so happy to see you here! I love your art thank you for bringing joy and smiles with your paintings you are such a lovely artist and friend! <3

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Thank you Carolina! Art has brought a lot of joy to my life. Making friends with people like you has been a wonderful addition.

  14. TheWorryGames 5 months ago

    Oh those are just beautiful. My children, especially my 8 year old and 6 year old son and daughter would love the top image of the dog and pig. They are just crazy for both animals. Lovely work you have done.

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Thank you. My grandchildren laugh at me and say grandma you have a pig telling a dog secrets hanging on your wall. That’s silly. At least they notice!!

  15. memadtwo 5 months ago

    And thanks to your daughter-in-law for being the catalyst to your art, which we can all now enjoy! (K)

    • Susan Feniak 5 months ago

      Thank you Kerfe. Not sure that daughter-in- law would agree. But I am glad to have found art.

  16. beverlydyer 5 months ago

    Wonderful!

  17. shellypruittjohnson 5 months ago

    I love this post! Thank you for sharing your story and your beautiful art.

  18. M. L. Kappa 5 months ago

    So good to see you here, Susan! Charlie has a knack for bringing people together. Anyway, you know I love your stuff, so no compliments needed! 😍👍🌺 Btw, I have a Koi travel set also, but I must say I’m not mad about it – the colors are vivid enough, but I find it hard to mix some shades such as pinks or mauves…

  19. shatterthefourthwall 5 months ago

    So good, I know next to nothing about art but it’s still some kind of eye candy.

  20. jdj9art 2 months ago

    I love these paintings so much! You paint very well

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