Orchid Unfolding

Susan Gilli – Orchid Unfolding

I am currently retired and finally able to devote most of my daily life to pursue my “second career” of loving to paint. I consider this to be a luxury. My art had been put on hold for a very long time due to work and raising four children. 

Sometimes things don’t turn out as planned. Upon graduating high school, I had all good intentions of becoming an art teacher. Lack of finances only allowed me to attend a local art school rather than pursue a college teaching degree. In retrospect, this school, The Lighthouse School of Art and Design, in Nyack, NY, gave me the fundamentals of my art training. I attended this school for two years and was given a variety of classes in all the art disciplines. 

Shortly after I married and began a family. Many years passed and I obtained a degree and certification as a respiratory therapist. This was polar opposite to my creative side. I remained in this career for sixteen years but still dabbled in art when time allowed. 

I was forced to end this career due to failing health and underwent a successful kidney transplant eight years ago. This was the turning point which enabled me to return to my art on a full time basis. I began working in oils and pastels and took ongoing community classes. Only recently have I turned to using acrylics. I find the colors exciting and I enjoy the spontaneity of abstract design. This spontaneity has transferred from realistic painting to a more creative form.

I paint daily. Only through discipline and time spent will my painting progress. I always say  I’m a “work in progress”.

Artist Statement:

I refer to myself as “a work in progress” as I am continuing to evolve. My greatest joy is to create a painting and have others come away after viewing my work with the same enjoyment. 

When I walk into an art gallery, an exhibit, or even a store, I’m first drawn to the colors. If the colors appeal to me, I’ll step in closer and take a longer look. At this point I either connect with the piece emotionally or wander past. In my work I use color and form to portray my emotions.. If I get the viewer to take a step closer to my painting and linger a little longer, it’s an accomplishment for me.

Most times I begin a painting with a particular choice of colors. I’m never sure what will evolve. Working in the abstract is much more enjoyable for me than representing or copying a scene or still life. Hopefully, my choice of colors and forms will hold the viewer’s interest as if they were looking at a still life. This is important to me as many people often prefer a piece which

they can understand or relate to.

My paintings are mainly in acrylics and at times I incorporate modeling paste and paper to the canvas.


New Brunswick Art Salon 2016 Part II Watercolor and Mixed Media Exhibition



2016 –  Artists of Yardley 5th Annual Juried Art Show 2016 “Fallen Leaf”

       Award for Best Abstract and the painting sold

2015 – Artists of Yardley 4th Annual Juried Art Show 2015 “Forest Floor” Sold

   – Byers Bucks Fever Art Juried Exhibition 2015 “Visceral Emotion” Sold

   – Philadelphia Sketch Club Abstract Juried Show 2015 “Emerging Growth”

      and “Derivation” accepted works

   – Artsbridge 21st Annual Juried Show 2015 “Migration” accepted work

   – Friends of the Delaware Canal 5th annual Ar Show 2015 “Sand City” accepted

   – Light Space and Time Online Abstract Juried show 2015 “Electrical Fire”

      Honorable Mention


Feel free to visit Gilli ‘s website: sgilli.faso.com