Raised by deaf parents, Bill Suys and his two sisters grew up in an environment tuned-in to visual cues. Bill drew constantly as a kid, covering all paper surfaces and grade school test margins with airplanes and helicopters. He once escaped an expected knuckle-rapping when the nun instead tapped his ‘art’-covered notebook and whispered, “Keep that up!” He has.
Though painting nights and weekends as long as he can remember and taking his classical art education into his own hands after college (Suys wishes he’d known about the atelier system when he was attending the University of Minnesota; art majors in those days received scant classical training) Suys did temporarily veer away from formal art employment by leaving the SCJohnson Wax art department – his first job after college and a coup at the time he was hired – by finishing a second degree in business management and transitioning to ‘Corporate’. Bill admits to wearing wingtips for a number of years and credits ‘JWax’ and its relentless quest for excellence with teaching him the importance of quality and the value of providing an outstanding product. He will always treasure his time there, and its lasting influence.
In 1995, Bill left corporate life to become a full time painter but almost immediately found himself a single parent to his three children, giving him a priceless role but delaying his earnest career-building until the kids had ‘fledged’. The last 5 years have seen Suys’s work become visible in one-man gallery shows, national and international competitions, exhibitions and invitationals, including the last four OPA National Exhibitions. In 2013, Suys received Signature Status from the Oil Painters of America and won Best In Show at the Salon International 2013 at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Fine Art.
A lover of diverse subject matter, Suys continues to distill his vision toward primarily figurative work – human and animal – as well as conceptual realism and the occasional surprise. Suys’s signature “People and Other Animals” tagline applies to his current gallery shows containing interesting humans and animals that often seem human. If Bill goes missing, he might have snuck off to a plein air event or could be out prowling the countryside for animals and architecture he’d like to paint, but most of the time, Bill can be found in his studio, music playing, at the easel.
Bill Suys and his wife, Kristin, live in Wisconsin’s picturesque Kettle Moraine and often visit their cabin on Door County’s Washington Island. The couple has four children and two grandchildren .
Bill Suys is a master painter whose work is included in local, national and international collections. His paintings and commissioned portraits have been selected to hang in national and international exhibitions, including The Oil Painters of America, the Art Renewal Center International Salon, the Salon International at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Fine Art, and the Portrait Society of America. Suys is a signature member of the Oil Painters of America and received a President’s appointment to New York’s venerable Salmagundi Club.
Following 20 years in corporate life, Suys turned to painting full-time in 1995. He has traveled the world to select art for a private corporate collection. Bill holds degrees in Business and Art, and has taught classes and workshops in a variety of venues.