Wildlife artist Susan Bourdet’s beautiful watercolor creations convey strong sentiment and a true understanding of nature.
As a young girl, Susan and her family spent countless weekends hiking and camping in the wilds of Montana. Young Susan was so enamored by the creatures and habitat surrounding her during those outings, she turned to drawing to express herself. By the age of 12 this budding artist’s talents were so apparent, she was enrolled in an adult watercolor class.
In college, Bourdet continued to blend her love of nature and art. She received a Bachelor’s degree focusing on both art and biology. The diversity of her education allowed Susan classical training in the fine arts and scientific background on animals and plants. Bourdet’s education, as well as her chosen medium, suit her style perfectly–an intriguing combination of impressionism and realism.
Bourdet has mastered the temperamental attributes of watercolor to provide her audiences with a unique perspective on nature. Applying the wet-into-wet technique, Susan uses soft colors and loose brushwork in her backgrounds to set the mood of each painting. Then, she meticulously details her animal and botanical subjects creating a classic composition with depth and movement. Susan states the background in animal and botanical physiology and the research methods she mastered in college have been and continue to be extremely beneficial in the evolution of her style.
To capture the spirit of her subjects, Susan likes to use reference materials she has personally collected. Susan travels extensively to study, sketch and photograph wildlife in their native habitat. In addition to her journeys, Susan looks close to home for inspiration and “models” for her paintings. This devoted nature lover has created a veritable bird sanctuary in her backyard including countless feeders, a variety of bird houses and beautiful gardens.
Diligent study and dedication have been rewarded and Susan Bourdet is emerging as one of today’s foremost nature artists. Her original works are sought by private collectors across the country and she has had 25 limited edition prints published. Bourdet’s images can also be found on calendars, apparel and collector plates.
Susan Bourdet is enthusiastic about her role in preserving nature and she is helping others do the same. Susan teaches watercolor classes and is actively involved in the Portland Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy.