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The Paintings of Suzi Zimmerman

Q. How did you get started in your medium?

A. I was a theatre teacher, so I was already painting sets and building props. When I quit teaching, I needed a creative outlet and eventually found watercolor and then acrylics.

Q. What is the biggest influence on your art?

A. I absolutely love animals. They’re my favorite subject. They’re just a natural extension of a wild world, and painting them gives me great joy.

Q. Did art play a role in your childhood?

A. I was not a social child. I preferred art and bring creative. I’d get up at 5 AM to draw a tree or write a poem. People would y’all about how creative I was, but I didn’t understand it. It was just my life, and I didn’t see anything unique about it. Bit I also didn’t relate to peers who had non creative obsessions.

Q. Were you exposed to artists?

A. My dad was a graphic artist. My brother was extremely artistic. I started doing graphic art at my parents’ company at 14. When I started teaching, I still worked at their company part time and did all the art for my first books.

Q. Who is your favorite artist?

A. I don’t really have one. That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child. I love them all!

Q. How does art impact your life?

A. I actually see art as a step toward a careers in retail. I want to open a shop that incorporates all my obsessions, but I have an autistic adult child, so my main goal is to have a space where he can thrive. He’s musical and loves to cook, so I imagine a craft shop/café/performance space.

Q. Do you ever get bored with your medium and what do you do about that?

A. Sure. I try to switch between watercolor, acrylics, felting, paper crafts, writing, gardening. There are too many options to allow boredom to set in!

Find more of Suzi's work on Facebook.

All of the above images are copyright Suzi Zimmerman and shared here with permission.

Try it yourself

Paint a Dog

You will need:

  • thick paper or canvas

  • acrylic or tempera paints

  • paper plate or pallet

  • brushes

  • reference photo

  • pencil

  • cup or jar of clean water

  • paper towels

  • smock or old t-shirt

Choose if you want your dog to be realistic colors or bright colors and find the paint colors you will need. Choose a reference photo and lightly sketch the shapes of the dog on your paper or canvas.

Put on your smock or old t-shirt to keep your clothes clean. Place small dollops of paint on your plate or pallet. You can add more when you run out, but if you put out too much it will dry out and be wasted.

Paint your dog and the background. Put the paper or canvas somewhere safe to dry.

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