Susan Smerker



A native of Glenside, Pennsylvania, Susan has lived in the Lehigh Valley for over 25 years. Susan earned her BFA in Communication Design from Kutztown University, where she was honored with the Karen L. Anderson Award in Graphic Design. After college, Susan studied painting extensively with Dana Van Horn at the Baum School of art. She has studied in classes and workshops with artists such as: Alexandra Tyng, Ellen Cooper, Jerry Weiss, Martin Campos and Jon Redmond.

Susan is a member of the Bethlehem Palette Club and the Lehigh Art Alliance. She has won numerous awards in regional juried exhibitions.

Susan maintains a studio in Allentown, Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and raised three children (her biggest inspirations).

Artist Statement

I have always been drawn to the figure and portrait as subject matter. Work-ing primarily in oils, I set out to achieve a likeness or essence of my subject, whether it is a quick sketch or a more formal portrait. Inspired by the people and personalities closest to me, I often use friends and family members as models, a tradition practiced by many painters. When I have a model in front of me who I know well, it leaves me free to experiment with the paint. There is nothing more satisfying and challenging than working from a live model and I exercise this skill as often as I can. I always enjoy learning and investi-gating ways to move forward with my craft.

The idea that a single image can be used to convey a complex, sophisticated thought or mood, is what I like most about painting. What keeps me engaged in the creative process is the tremendous challenge I encounter each time I conceive an idea and then attempt to bring it to life on the canvas.”