Representational oil painter Bill Suys especially loves bringing life to ‘people and other animals’ and is known for his sensitive treatment of both. Suys’s ready appreciation for the nuanced personalities of individuals – both human and otherwise – has brought him inspiration as well as recognition, and his passion for lifelong learning keeps him devoted to building a body of work that will, in his words, “Stand the test of time.”
Bill drew constantly as a kid, covering all paper surfaces and grade school test margins with airplanes and helicopters. He once escaped an expected scolding 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 S.C. Johnson Wax art department – his first job after college and a coup at the time he was hired – by transitioning to ‘Corporate’ and finishing a second degree in business management, with graduate work in Finance. 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.
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 full time dedication to painting and art career-building until the kids had fledged. In 2008, after his youngest was safely tucked into her dorm room at college, Bill hit the road running and has treasured every second of what’s become a great adventure.
Suys continues to distill his vision toward primarily figurative work – human and animal – as well as conceptual realism and the occasional surprise. 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 takes a ‘no excuses’ approach to both life and career, so he works hard at continual improvement in order to build a body of work that makes grateful use of the gift he was given. Bill and his wife Kristin live in Wisconsin’s picturesque Kettle Moraine and often visit their cabin on Door County’s Washington Island. The couple’s blended family includes four children, three sons-in-law, three grandchildren and 5 dogs.
I believe a successful piece of art – representational or abstract, painting or sculpture – creates its own special environment. Viewers do more than simply look at the work, they become personally involved in it. The most successful work can be measured by its ability to compel the viewer into its environment and to touch emotions in a unique and timeless way. The best work will stay fresh and compelling forever.
The blank canvas gives me absolute freedom to create. I have the same opportunity afforded past artists from Leonardo to Sargent. I plan to take maximum advantage of this opportunity to deliver work that possesses its own artistic heart and soul.
I am committed to artistic excellence, lifelong improvement, and to creating a body of work that will stand the test of time.
~ Bill Suys