Suellyn Scoon, artist



Artist's Statement
New Work
Work In Progress
Current Exhibitions
Icelandic Volcanoes
Lynching in America
Artist Preference
Shifting Boundaries

Two Painting by Suellyn Scoon in Kenosha Galleries

Review by Patricia Briggs, PhD


One afternoon in Kenosha I came across two paintings by Suellyn Scoon hanging in local galleries.  One is a portrait of a young woman, Katelyn, on view at Anderson Art Center in the Racine Art Guild Juried, the other, Red Skirt, is featured at Lemon Street Gallery.



Red Skirt (2011) Suellyn Scoon

Suellyn Scoon            Katelyn             (2011) @ Anderson Art Center                          Suellyn Scoon           Red Skirt        (2011) @ Lemon Street Gallery

Having seen these canvases in-progress in Scoon’s studio in early March, I got a flash of excitement when I ran into them again in public.

Scoon studio, 2011
Scoon studio March 2011  
Although they do it in very different ways, Katelyn and Red Skirt demonstrate Scoon’s persistent interest in women’s beauty and fashion. The girl pictured in Katelyn looks out at the view with intense blue-green eyes rimmed in thick black eyeliner. The painter applies a delicate line of black paint to the canvas as if she is applying eyeliner to her model’s face. In other ways too, Scoon’s paint application reminds me of makeup applied to a woman’s body. The flesh tones and pinks of Katelyn’s skin and the slightly darker powdery mauves that make up the background of the image are rubbed and blended in the way that foundation, blusher, and powder are applied to a woman’s face, neck and shoulders. Scoon’s treatment of Katelyn’s fashionable hair color is marvelous. With a few restrained shapes and wispy brushstrokes Scoon sketches in the dark lowlights, and the dramatic red and blond highlights that tell us so much about her model’s personality. It seems that Katelyn has a sense of her own beauty but is not narcissistic. She has a strong sense of self and is ready to meet the challenges coming her way.

Red Skirt was no doubt produced more quickly and one imagines that painting it was as fun as it is to look at it. Scoon works again with a reduced palette—reds and blacks dominate—yet the color in Red Skirt is juicy and dramatic. With quick painterly marks Scoon celebrates the glamour and fantasy propagated by the fashion industry. And although most viewers would never dream of purchasing a gown like the one pictured in this image, most will feel a vicarious thrill as they feast their eyes on Scoon’s brilliant rendering of its rich red taffeta skirt, whose color is echoed in the beads pilled around the model’s neck, nail polish and lipstick.


This blog is made up of my notes on studio and exhibition visits. I am an independent critic and curator interested in the role of the viewer in the art community. I'm using this site to share my practice and create community.                                                                            ---Patricia Briggs, PhD                                                                             April, 2011                                                                                                    patricia briggs @                                                              



2 Responses to Two Painting by Suellyn Scoon in Kenosha Galleries

    Gretchen Krutz on April 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm:
    Scoon’s works portray carefully chosen moments frozen in time. There is a primitive immediacy about them, though hazy…as though seen through the veil of a dream.

    The subjects almost dare the observer to enter their world, yet seem untouchable — on pause somewhere between forward and rewind.

    Donald Cress on April 22, 2011 at 12:03 pm:
    The two paintings by Suellyn Scoon each show me two things:

    Katelyn is an extraordinary painting. I haven’t the competence to speak of the technical side of the work, but I feel it captures the subject’s considerable beauty and at the same time her very considerable sadness. In effect, it tells us that great physical beauty alone is not the fix for all our problems. Her inner sadness, despite her beauty, is almost overwhelming to look at. This is an extraordinary artistic achievement.

    Red Skirt is also telling me two things. The subject is a rather young adolescent. She is beginning to be sophisticated and beautiful, but her right elbow shows that she still is a young girl just learning the ropes. The painting is executed with great sympathy for the subject. But the lesson is clear: adolescent girls have to BECOME women, and this takes time. Again, this is an extraordinary painting



17 Responses to “Two Painting by Suellyn Scoon in Kenosha Galleries”

  1. Katie said

    Just like the painter, my sister, the paintings are compelling and full of surprises.

  2. April said

    Suellyn’s paintings are beautiful, just like she is!

  3. Kate said

    As always, interestingly beautiful work, Suellyn.

  4. Lydia said

    Suellyn’s paintings are fresh,original and interesting.

  5. There is one in a hundred or more painters who move beyond the point of technical excellence. There is far fewer than that, whose work can hold it’s own in a conversation with the viewer. Suellyn Scoon is one in the later category.

  6. i may be too close to suellyn’s work to be objective, but from where i sit, her paintings and assemblage are stellar. i second everhting melanie said above.

  7. Nancy Neider said

    Suellyn’s paintings are soulful and intense, yet elegantly simple, with compositions and colors that beautifully convey their moods.

  8. jerry belland said

    I found myself staring at Suellyn’s portrait of Katelyn at the Anderson opening. It really catches something about adolescence. It really brought me back to my teaching days.

  9. Sharon Mogden said

    Suellyn creates such beauty in her paintings with feeling from her heart and soul. Her talent is rare, but so appreciated!!!

  10. Ann Niccolai said

    Suellyn’s paintings are so “captivating”; they compel a subsequent gaze. . .

  11. amanda aude said

    beautiful beautiful beautiful! i love these!

  12. Amber said

    I have known Suellyn for a long time and we have grown very close. Her artwork is amazing and really reflects her personality. Simply beautiful.

  13. Ada James said

    I love the motion in the woman with the red skirt. Beautiful color as well.
    Lovely, Suellyn.



Review of "Artist Preference" exhibition
Lemon Street Gallery
401 Sheridan Rd.
Kenosha, Wi

With cool emotion and hot-butter focus, artist Suellyn Scoon, continues to ask questions that ultimately require a moral solution.


Scoon’s new series includes miniature landscapes with empty canoes and large portraits of females standing isolated in water.


 She paints with oil on vellum or canvas with tracings of charcoal in an attempt to viscerally tie the image to the after-image. Painting over previously exhibited works she gives them a second chance, a second skin.


The inspiration for this series came from numerous photos sent to her from Scottish landscape artist, Ken Bushe.  Gradually the city of Dundee, along with the climate of the Tay River merged onto these women as an analogy of skin as landscape.  They were painted in a light tonality for the reason women use cosmetics. 


When asked why she always places her figures in a state of isolation she said, “ I try not to give narrative to my paintings but to capture the moment that evokes a question from the viewer. “


Her last two exhibits at the Arts Council were: “Strange Fruit: Lynching in America, and “ Shifting Boundaries,” portraits of the children in her family.


Scoon, a self-taught artist, is a member of Lemon Street Gallery.


                                                                          Racine Arts Council Review

                                                                                                   March 13, 2010


Wild Art!  Pull … Shoot!

                                                                           Ingmar Bergman Crossed-Over on 6th St. 

The October Shifting Boundaries paint and assemblage exhibit at Racine Arts Council, 316 Sixth St., was insidious under my psycho-skin.   I felt captured in a cel of an Ingmar Bergman film.


Suellyn Scoon’s portraits of family members (captured off of family photos) are austere.  These modern personnae are caught on the fringe between inner selves and imposed nothingness reality.  Betwixt and between softscape and hardscape.  Bergman’s Cries and Whispers.  


Scoon’s assemblages are fragile, precise compositions of delightful family-archived bits and pieces, textures and toys, story and theatre.  Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander.  


                                                                               by Boldslider, Freelance art critic

                                                                                                         Racine, Wisconsin