Susan Martin Spar

Susan Spar is a classical realist who is inspired and entranced by the play of light across her subject and the feelings it invokes in her.  Her art consists of landscapes, figures and detailed still life. These subjects all serve as vehicles to carry the light and share her emotional response to it.

Equally proficient in both oils and pastels, she has won numerous awards for her work at juried competitions.  Her art is in the permanent collections of both the Millard Sheets Foundation, The Temecula Painted Ponies Exhibition and the Corona Heritage Park Foundation as well as private collections throughout the US.

Susan received her early training from The Fashion Institute of Technology before moving to Southern California in the 1980s. After studying for a brief time at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas she moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 2004. In addition to studying with well-known artists and teachers such as David Leffel, David Gray and Michael Klein, Susan completed her classical training in a three-year intensive program of figure drawing and painting at Georgetown Atelier in Seattle in 2012.

Susan lives, paints and teaches in Port Angeles, WA.  Her work can also be viewed on line at and in person at Gallery 9 in Port Townsend, WA. She is also represented by John Hansen Gallery in Boonville, CA. 

On a more personal note...

I’m a realist painter. A classical realist, actually.  Some people say my work is like the Old Masters.  That’s great because those are the giants that inspired me to paint in the first place.  I used to spend afternoons at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with my family.  As a youngster, I loved Salvador Dali.  He appealed to my less conventional side.

LIGHT is important to my work and is the major consistent factor that ties together the different subjects that I paint. Light invokes mood.  Light can surface memories and feelings which tell us about ourselves and the world around us.  Light brings mystery and enchantment to life.

I could just refer you to my bio and resume, but let’s face it.  Wouldn’t you rather know about me? I mean the personal me.  The me that LOVES a sunny warm day and the way light changes everything we look at. 

So here are some personal things about me:


I'm a bibliophile

I LOVE to read. Mostly sci-fi and fantasy.  But I enjoy the occasional romance too. My favorite books are the Outlander series but I also love some of the old classics. I read Lord of the Flies five times when I was younger and struggled through Shakespeare when I was 12.  I probably read waaaay too much.  I have a breakfast book, a bathroom book and an evening book and books on tape that I listen to when driving.  

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I’m passionate about the environment and I support causes to fight GMO and other issues like saving the bees. 

I’m a bit crazy and I’m a bit conservative.  These two aspects of my character fight with each other all the time.  Usually the crazy part wins.

This is my buddy, George Bones.  He's a big help in the studio.

I used to hang glide

The most exciting times of my life were the six or so years I spent Hang Gliding when I lived in southern California.

I LOVE to teach 

Let me say that again….I LOVE TO TEACH!  I get so excited to see my students develop new skills and grow.  Mentoring is a big part of my teaching.  It’s my nature to take students under my wing and preen them until they can fly on their own.  

I’m a writer Well, not a published one.  I just like to write novels.  It’s a bit like crafting a painting and it stimulates my mind.

I love animals  Especially baby ones.  Who doesn't?

I meditate and I'm just a little psychic.  

Port Angeles, WA is now my home where I live with my husband, Jerry.  We are owned by our two cats, Simba and Boo Boo. 

I have a wonderful studio.  Come and visit me sometime!

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