As a child, Susan Eyer-Anderson would sneak into the garage to watch her father paint. He worked long hours as the manager of a silkscreen plant in Los Angeles, California, but he spent his evenings and weekends painting in the family garage in rural Orange County. It was intended to be a quiet sanctuary, and three of his four children respected that enough to stay clear of the space. But Eyer-Anderson was too intrigued by the work he did in the garage to stay away.
“I couldn’t help it,” she says. “I was so fascinated by it, so I would sneak in and be very quiet as I watched him. And, once he realized that I wasn’t going away, he set up a little easel for me next to him.”
That’s where Eyer-Anderson absorbed most of what she knows about painting. Aside from her art classes in junior high and high school—which she says were taught by amazing teachers—pretty much everything she knows about art came from watching her mother and father. Her mother was a portrait painter; her father was a landscape artist. “They both graduated from the Art Center of Pasadena, so I grew up with art,” Eyer-Anderson says. “Before I learned how to read, write or do math, I was learning how to paint.”
12″ by 18″
“This young man is standing on the sidelines, watching the rodeo events and competitions. You can tell he’s got hopeful thoughts of the future. Photo reference: Andi Harmon.”
11″ by 14″
“A beautiful mountain lion languishes in the shade, perhaps surveying her kingdom, in the morning light. Photo reference: California Department of Fish and Game.”