Susan Babbel is a contemporary figurative artist who redefines portraiture with her emotional portrayal of women. A degree of abstraction is achieved by eliminating backgrounds, laying context for her figures. Sorrowful, confrontational and questioning images are created through the use of color, layering and texture. Susan’s larger paintings are oil or acrylic on canvas, and her smaller works are gouache or watercolor on paper.
Susan’s abstract art is reflective of the life around her. Bold colors mix to create visions personal to the viewer.
Susan grew up in Southern California. Her earliest memories were of playing in the sand, feeling waves against her legs while living in Redondo Beach. At age seven, Susan moved to Thousand Oaks, where her playground changed to rolling hills and open fields. It was at this time her earliest exposure to art surfaced, while seated at the kitchen table painting alongside her mother.
Art took a backward step in her life as she entered the workforce, and it wasn’t until her first child was born in 1986 that she started painting again. Susan soon joined a local art association, whose members encouraged her to think outside the box while painting. It was then that Susan’s style emerged, along with her love of painting women. She again found herself painting at the kitchen table, surrounded by her two daughters, who also loved to paint.
She continues to win awards throughout the Bay Area. After a long hiatus, she received her BA in Creative Arts from San Jose State University in May 2012. Susan is currently working on her MA in Interdisciplinary Education at Santa Clara University.
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