Artist Susan Hediger Matteson plein air painting on a farm with sheep in southwest Colorado.
Susan Hediger Matteson plein air painting on a farm in southwest Colorado. Photo credit: Sharona Brown.

How did you get started and then develop your career?

Susan Hediger Matteson: To clarify, there are two Susan Mattesons working in the fine art field today. I have since started using Susan Hediger Matteson to clarify that I am not that other person!

My early days were spent decorating my parents’ basement walls. I consider myself lucky to have had great art teachers throughout my life, starting with junior high — thank you, Mrs. Burge! After earning a Fine Art degree at SIUC, then flipping burgers for a summer, I returned to school to earn a graphics degree to help put food on the table and keep my hand in art. I was lucky enough to do illustration work for the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources, including salmon stamps for the state. After the loss of my sister, brother and father, I decided, in 2010, to pursue painting full time — something I had always wanted to do. To that end, I took up studying with artists I admire, to better my craft. I don’t think you ever stop learning — there is so much to know, and I guess that is a part of the allure.

How do you describe success?

When a good piece of art comes together. Earning a living sure helps.

How do you find inspiration?

I think life is inspiration, whether a snowfall, the way light falls across the figure, it can be just simple things.

Nocturne oil painting of cabin on snowy hillside.
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Early Risers,” 16 x 20 in., oil on linen, 2015
Extreme horizontal painting of snowy field with small homestead scene in background
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Across the Fields II,” 12 x 36 in., oil on linen, 2019
Oil painting with green grasses and stream in foreground and misty mountains in background
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Misty Mountains,” 16 x 16, oil on linen, 2015
Oil painting of country road with field and trees
Susan Hediger Matteson, “Terrapin Ridge,” 18 x 24 in., oil on linen, 2018

To see more of Susan’s work, visit: www.susanmatteson.com

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