‘How I Got Here’

Categories: 2020 January-February Issue, Acrylic, Charcoal, Lyon, Sue, Lyon, Susan, Oil, and Portrait.

During a visit last October, Susan Lyon made three admissions. The first is that she never considered herself a natural artist. She hadn’t impressed anyone with her drawings as a child. She wasn’t the student who was always chosen to illustrate the school yearbook cover or design the hallway mural.

Later, while studying at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, Lyon noticed that some of her classmates seemed to be able to see spatial relationships and copy them perfectly. For her, it was a struggle. “I wasn’t someone who had ever been very confident in drawing,” she says. “It did not come easily to me.”

The second thing Lyon admits is that she still struggles with a lack of confidence. Even after three decades as an artist—even after selling hundreds of paintings, winning dozens of awards, and being featured in several magazines—she’s still not quite sure that she’s “good enough.”


24” by 18”

“I love to add jewelry when I pose models. It creates an interesting line in the composition. This innocent, young lady reminded me of someone from medieval times. Using back light creates a mystical and timeless look.”

Always Having Hope

Charcoal and acrylic
11” by 14”

“In this drawing, I wanted to have the model gazing upward. The way you see the model and where she is looking is very important to how the viewer interprets the mood. I attributed her looking toward the sky as if she is seeking divine answers. Why people look up is a very interesting thing to explore. I think it lifts the energy, and the viewer is taken on the same journey.”