Susan Spector

“I make art when I feel like making art. I don’t have a schedule that I adhere to. A piece of artwork can take a couple of hours or much longer. I tend to work fast because I want to get on to what’s next.“


A true SoCal Gal, mixed-media artist Susan Spector was born and raised in Los Angeles and chose to remain in the land of sunshine and palm trees. Working in administration at a local university on adult education programs, she researched faculty, developed curriculum, and worked on graphic design projects.  Raising two children, she enjoyed traveling with her husband on trips ranging from  New York City ( where she loved the “24 hour-ness of the city”) to the Canadian Arctic/Tundra searching for the Northern Lights, and finally to Alaska (a childhood dream). It wasn’t until she retired in 2014 that she found her second passion with no conscious intention.  “Art just happened.”


Taking some classes at the university where she worked, Susan started with watercolors and sumi ink, loving the way those mediums moved with water. Experimenting with expressionist figure painting, her style evolved into abstracted overemphasized figures with large hands and feet,  capturing the essence of the model without a need to be wholly representational.  More classes brought about  advanced processes and getting her hands a bit dirty, leading to complex work like monoprints, relief printmaking, live-cutting into linoleum, work created with spray paint, and 3-D sculptural work in acrylic plexiglass.


Susan is now a full-time working artist whose work has been shown in multiple galleries in and around Los Angeles, leading to one “Best of Show” award and two honorable mentions. She also spends quite a bit of time in the business of art, as the President of two Southern California art non-profits and on the board of another.


Ideas for new work come from various places, like the notable recent series Sticks/Stones. First featured in a solo show at The Artists Gallery (TAG), it was conceived during the pandemic, when Susan wanted to make people laugh and she needed to have fun with her work. Reaching out through social media, she asked the question, “What is a phrase from your past that you still hear in your head?”  After receiving more than 100 responses from around the world, she narrowed the answers to about 30 sayings, then interpreted the answers in child-like stick figures combined with the text using spray paint and acrylic on unprimed canvas. The resulting series is whimsical in style, humorous, and uniquely charming.


“My painting style is all over the place. I work with whatever moves me at the time. I get restless staying in one style. Our world is moving at such a fast pace in news cycles and the internet, with all the political conflicts that I just want to keep moving and creating with little regard to style and technique.”  


So, although we know there are multiple shows confirmed for the next year and a possible children’s art class teaching position , the “what’s next“ style, inspiration, medium, or subject matter is anyone’s guess – even to the artist herself!