Suzanne Morris Biography



I have been painting for as long as I can remember. Several years ago I was introduced to painting “alla prima” from the Italian meaning all at once or all at one sitting. It employs painting “wet into wet” on the canvas. This technique has opened up a whole new expression of my work. It allows me to produce fresher, brighter, more vivid colors.

I try to paint plein-air as often as possible. Plein-air is work that is done entirely on location directly from life. I love to be out doors and I love to paint. Painting plein-air not only allows me to combine two pleasures, it also allows me to measure my subject directly for color and value.

I am fascinated by the play of light and shadow. It is the effect light has on my subject that draws me to it - the cool morning light on the water or sand, the colors deep in the long shadows of late afternoon, or the way reddish light at sunset warms everything it touches. Any one of these effects can transform an ordinary scene into an extraordinary one. It is the joy I feel when I come across one of these special moments that I try to capture on my canvasses. This is accomplished by strict adherence to light and shadow patterns, the use of vivid descriptive color, and bold expressive brushwork.

My love of the water is reflected in my subject matter. My palette is inspired by my passion for life. Being and artist is a privilege. It is about being in a special place and developing a means to express how I feel about that place. If I do everything just right, and I’m really lucky I get to share a piece of the magic I feel with those who view my work.


Suzanne Goodwin Morris was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1953. She was always drawn to the outdoors and nature. She attended Nature Camp sponsored by the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs during the summers of her formative years. For two weeks every year she studied every aspect of her natural world. This early appreciation of the magic of nature still serves as inspiration for much of her work.

While drawing and painting from an early age, her artistic aspirations were put on hold by a middle school art teacher who pronounced that Sue was not very talented at drawing. Discouraged, she pursued academics, majoring in Biology and pre-med in college. Although she taught school and worked in sports medicine, it was always her art that sustained her. She did decorative tole painting; from there she progressed to hand painted ceramic tiles and sinks. That endeavor led to interior design. She had her own design company where she specialized in Coastal and Vacation home design. After the sudden death of two very close friends, she began working in oils full time and began the pursuit of her lifelong dream.

Sue is predominately self-taught, although she has studied with some of the best plein-air painters in the country. She is influenced by the work of Van Gogh, John Singer Sergeant, Emile Gruppe and the California Impressionists.