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Julia the Green-eyed Cat.jpg
(Image: Susan Bradley)

Artist of the Week: Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley is an artist who works with pencils and pointillism based on Whidbey Island.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Susan Bradley: I didn't discover that I could draw until I was in high school, which was over 40 years ago. A friend of mine had been in a car wreck, and I didn't have the money at the time to buy a get-well card. So, I made her one. I've been creating cards ever since. I work primarily with colored pencils, pen-and-ink (pointillism) and I am branching out into graphite.

Can you tell me about your artistic process and the different stages of work in it?
I use colored pencils to start the process. I work in layers. To develop the colors correctly, it might take several layers of colored pencil to get the right blend. I use pen-and-ink for the shading. Light and shadow are everything, and I use pointillism in layers to build up the shadows.

Tell us about where the inspiration for your art comes from.
I try to bring attention to the beauty all around us in landscapes, animals, pets. So, I often get my inspiration on my daily walks as I try to tune in to the beauty all around me here in the Pacific Northwest. I do a lot of pet commissions and memorial drawings. It is an honor to be entrusted with the memorial drawing of a beloved pet.

Do you have a specific "beat" you like best – nature, profiles, etc.?
I love drawing nature. I try to look at nature with the wonder that a child would and try to communicate some of that wonder in my art. I love drawing pets as well.

Do you have one piece that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
This would be "The Green-Eyed Cat." I was commissioned to draw this lady's silver-haired tabby. It had the most exquisite aqua eyes.

What experiences in life have affected your art the most?

I have overcome some obstacles: I have overcome major health issues. In addition, I have chronic arthritis and tendonitis in both hands that often makes it painful to draw. I draw anyway. My art is very meditative to me.

If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?

I am a member of Artworks Gallery, The physical address is 221 2nd Street, Langley, WA 98260 (in the Langley Village courtyard), and the phone number is (360) 926-1001. Please come and visit our gallery and website!

What is next for you? Anything that you are working on that you're really excited about?
I am currently laying out the beginning of a drawing of a calming beach scene. I am also starting to branch out into graphite and drawing people! I am largely self-taught, and this is so much to learn! There is so much to experience and so much nature to draw!

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone.)
A 16-ounce decaf vanilla latte.

About 'Artist of the Week': Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.