Sue Powell





Susan Powell of Silver Creek Arts Group. Photo by: Pete Paterson


In one instant, she’s rhapsodic about the landscape. The next, she’s completely hilarious. Sue Powell’s personality and life mirror the tremendous diversity of landforms that she marvels at up here, and she tries to preserve and enhance them in all she does, and the exuberant, all-out way she does it.


Artists aren’t hidden away up here. You’re accessible.

Artists much like farmers are isolated, in their studios, but then artists have the choice of presenting their work, while oftentimes we never get to see the farmer’s work coming directly from them.


The art tours are also unique.

You can go to Muskoka for an art tour, but here it’s a total experience. Come to our studios, stop for lunch somewhere, go for a hike, then meet more artists. Meet the crazed individual who’s just creating! There’s nothing like it anywhere.


How does your job impact your art?

Having the opportunity to work with and learn from scientists, I’m looking at nature with more information. I’m driving around all over the province, so when I see some light that catches my eye, I’ll pull over and do a quick sketch. I’m always late for meetings…


What catches your eye?

Such diversity up here. The big skies, the clouds… for a watercolour painter, the clouds are brilliant here. The hills, the escarpment, the forests, Mulmur, up near Terra Nova in the fall, oh my god, it’s very painterly. And then, there’s something beautiful about the flatlands of Amaranth in the snow… all winter long, this pale, whitish sky meeting this beautiful line of snow.


You also love nudes.

I did a series of nudes in landscapes. Many areas in this region are very male and female landscaped. The Caledon Badlands, have you ever seen more renaissance rolling hips in your life? And on the other side you have the strong, erect, cattail male wetlands.


I’ll never look at a cattail the same again.

There’s lots hiding in those hills, baby!