Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Webb Tregay.
Susan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Like all artists, I can’t remember not making art. But I’m of the generation of women where there were no female artists in Janson’s Art History, nor no women mentors. So, I taught school. It wasn’t until I had a few years before my children started school full time (there were no child care facilities either) that I had the time to search for myself artistically.
Starting in watercolor where there was so much camaraderie, encouragement, instruction, and competition, I learned the basics, then moved on to acrylics. When bristle brushes and trying to blend paint on the canvas lead to sore hands, I developed my style. It involves a random color underlayer, a charcoal drawing, then dragging another color over the first to create flickering interplay between the colors.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
While painting 150 house portraits in my early years, I grew thoroughly sick of them. But with boredom comes resentment, then anger, then that old “I’ll show them” attitude. Still intrigued with buildings, I began to list them and lean them and make them talk and relate to each other. Years later, this is still my favorite message, “we are all in this together.”
While living in Rockford, IL, my studio was in a high-rise while my unsuspecting subject matter was just outside my windows… along with all of the trappings of street lights, phone poles and wires, signs and traffic lights. Upon buying a house in North Carolina, though, I discovered folk art and their use of freeing color to express the fun and joy in life, and my course was set for now.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Work a subject until you are thoroughly bored with it, for it is then that you get creative with something you are so familiar with.,
Work in a series. Buy a hardbound sketchbook and glue in photos of each painting as you create them. Add photos of other’s work that relate to yours. Collect your ideas all in one place. When you go to your studio sit down with this book and review your recent pieces. Plan your next painting so that you just turn the screw of your ideas one more time. Never jump to a new topic. Let one painting grow out of what has gone before.
I don’t sketch in this book, but when I draw on location I start on page 17 of a different sketchbook. This takes the fear out of a clean, new book. Then, learn to love your own line.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My current series can be viewed at www.SusanWebbTregay.com, and in ArtMob Gallery, Hendersonville, NC, White Gallery, Greensboro, NC, and the Asheville Gallery of Art, Asheville, NC.
This series has been honored with three museum shows in North Carolina and Virginia and several magazine covers. I am the author of two books, Master Disaster, Five Ways to Rescue Desperate Watercolors, and 2000 Painting Titles. Both are available through Amazon.com.
I am a signature member and award winner in the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society.
- Website: SusanWebbTregay.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Instagram #susanwebbtregay@susanwebbtregay
- Facebook: Susan Webb Tregay