William A. Suys

Selected Works

 

Biography

 

 William A. (Bill) Suys, Jr. OPA, PSS (Born 1955)

 Representational oil painter Bill Suys especially loves bringing life to ‘people and other animals’ and is known for his sensitive treatment of both. Suys’s ready appreciation for the nuanced personalities of individuals – both human and otherwise – has brought him inspiration as well as recognition, and his passion for lifelong learning keeps him devoted to building a body of work that will, in his words, “Stand the test of time.”

Bill drew constantly as a kid, covering all paper surfaces and grade school test margins with airplanes and helicopters. He once escaped a scolding when the nun instead tapped his 'art'-covered notebook and whispered, "Keep that up!"  He has.

Though painting nights and weekends as long as he can remember and taking his classical art education into his own hands after college (Suys wishes he'd known about the atelier system when he was attending the University of Minnesota; art majors in those days received scant classical training.) Bill did temporarily veer away from formal art employment by leaving the S.C. Johnson Wax art department – his first job after college and a coup at the time he was hired – by transitioning to 'Corporate' and finishing a second degree in business management, with graduate work in Finance. Suys admits to wearing wingtips for a number of years and credits 'JWax' and its relentless quest for excellence with teaching him the importance of quality and the value of providing an outstanding product.

In 1995, Bill left corporate life to become a full-time painter but almost immediately found himself a single parent to his three children, giving him a priceless role but delaying his fulltime painting and art career-building until the kids had fledged. In 2008, after his youngest was safely tucked into her dorm room at college, Bill hit the ground running and has treasured every second of what’s become a great adventure.

Bill Suys takes a ‘no excuses’ approach to both life and career and he works hard at continual improvement in order to build a body of work that makes grateful use of the gift he was given. Bill and his wife Kristin live in Wisconsin’s picturesque Kettle Moraine and often visit their cabin on Door County’s Washington Island. The couple’s blended family includes four children, three sons-in-law, three grandchildren and 5 dogs.

 

Recent notable accomplishments, events, accolades

2018: The year kicked off with Bill teaching a 5-day workshop in January at Scottsdale Artists’ School in January 2019. In April, Bill was inducted as a Signature Member of the Portrait Society of America then headed to Atlanta to participate in the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational (see below), and then on to Florida to paint in the Forgotten Coast Plein Air Invitational and teach at Plein Air South. In August, Suys painted in the inaugural Paint Grand Traverse plein air invitational. Notable awards as of June 2018 include: Finalist and Honorable Mention in the ARC International Salon 2018; Finalist, January 2018 Boldbrush painting competition; Second Place, Richeson75 International Small Works Exhibition; two huge honors at the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational in April: the Matisse Award (Second Place overall) and the award for Best Body of Work, given by esteemed judges Tim Newton of New York’s Salmagundi Club, Seth Hopkins – Director of the Booth Western Art Museum, and painter Kenn Backhaus. (Read about it here.) Also in June, at the Oil Painters of America National Salon Show, Bill was awarded the Silver Medal. Other notable awards in 2018 include: Second Place plus Triple Finalist, Richeson75 International Figure/Portrait Exhibition; Dual Finalist and Finalist as well as Ninth Place, Animals, Portrait Society of America Members Only competition; Dual Finalist plus Dual Meritorious, Richeson75 International Animals, Birds & Wildlife Exhibition; Finalist, Richeson75 International Still Life and Floral Exhibition; and an Award of Excellence, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society Fall International Online Exhibition.

 

In 2017, Suys had two award wins at the OPA National Exhibition as well as wins from Richeson75 International’s Animals, Birds & Wildlife (First Place) and Still Life (Second Place) competitions, and the Portrait Society of America’s Members Only competition, and was again a finalist in the ARC Salon.  Also in 2017, Cincinnati’s Eisele Gallery was added to Suys’s gallery roster. In 2017 Suys also put together a busy plein air season including these highlights: the Maynard Dixon Country Campout plein air invitational, the Door County Plein Air invitational, and the En Plein Air Texas Invitational. (Suys loves plein air – he feels it informs his studio work – but tries to accept only a few plein air event invitations each summer season in order to ensure he’s able to supply his galleries.)

 

 

RESUME AND CURRICULUM VITAE: William A. Suys, Jr. OPA, PSS (Born 1955)

 

Selected Awards and Accolades

Silver Medal, Oil Painters of America National Salon Show, 2018

Best Body of Work - awarded by Tim Newton of the Salmagundi Club, Seth Hopkins of the Booth Western Art Museum and the painter Ken Backhaus – The Olmsted Plein Air Invitational 2018

Second Place – the Matisse Award – The Olmsted Plein Air Invitational 2018

Awarded Signature Membership in the Portrait Society of America, December 2017

Awarded Signature   Membership, Oil Painters of America, 2013

Best in Show, Salon International at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Fine Art, 2013

Award of Excellence – Animals (Best Wildlife; 1st Place) – Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, 2016 Honorable Mention – Animals (2nd Place Wildlife) – Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, 2017

Award of Excellence – Best Wildlife, OPA National Salon, 2015

Finalist and Honorable Mention, Art Renewal Center International Salon, 2018

Winner, BoldBrush Award, BoldBrush Painting Competition, November 2014

First Place, Richeson75 International Animals, Birds & Wildlife Exhibition, 2017, 2012

Second Place plus Triple Finalist, Richeson75 International Figure/Portrait Exhibition, 2018

Second Place, Richeson75 Small Works Exhibition, 2018

Second Place, Richeson75 International Still Life and Floral Exhibition, 2017

Third Place, Richeson75 International Animals, Birds and Wildlife, 2016

Dual Finalist plus Dual Meritorious, Richeson75 International Animals, Birds & Wildlife Exhibition, 2018

Finalist, Richeson75 International Still Life and Floral Exhibition, 2018

Dual finalist, Richeson75 International Still Life and Floral Exhibition, 2014

Sixth Place, Still Life, Portrait Society of America Members Only competition, 2017

Ninth Place, Animals, Portrait Society of America Members Only competition, 2018

Dual Finalist, Finalist, Portrait Society of America Members Only competition, 2018, 2017

Award of Excellence, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society Fall International Online Exhibition, 2018

Judge’s Award from Plein Air magazine editor Stephen Doherty, Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, April 2015

Editor’s Choice Award, American Art Collector Magazine, 2013

Winner, Plein Air Magazine Award – Best Sense of Mystery, Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, April 2016

Finalist, Art Renewal Center International Salon, 2017/2018, 2016/1017, 2014/2015, 2012/2013, 2011/2012

Juror of Awards for numerous events, including - Richeson75 Portraiture/Figurative Exhibition, 2014

Selected to Master Painters of the World, Galerie Pierre, France

Dual Finalist, Richeson75 International Figure/Portrait Competition, 2011

Best in Show, Quick paint, Cedarburg Plein Air Competition, 2010

People’s Choice Award, Cedarburg Plein Air Competition, 2010

Best in Show, Wauwatosa Plein Air Competition, 2009

Honorary Artist’s Chair, Open Canvas Event to benefit MIAD, 2009

Received President’s appointment to the Salmagundi Club

Also, received the equivalent of today’s Certificate of Excellence, Portrait Society of America, International competition 2002, 2001

 

Education

BA in Art/Design and Business/Marketing, with graduate level Finance

Artist’s workshops: Daniel Greene, Clayton Beck, Michael Klein, and David Kassan, among others. Bill also paints regularly with Daniel Gerhartz

 

Employment History

1995 to present: Self-employed fine artist

1977 to 1995: SCJohnson Wax, a privately-owned global marketer of consumer and industrial chemical specialty products; jobs ranged from my start during college (1977) in the Art Department, through my transition to ‘Corporate’ as Sales Promotion Manager of US Consumer Product Sales, Field Sales, and finally to my final Corporate position as Senior Adjustment Analyst, North American Consumer Products. (During all these years I was painting at night and freelancing for numerous companies as an illustrator and photo retoucher.)

 

Teaching assignments

Scottsdale Artists School (beginning Jan, 2018)

Richeson School of Art

MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design) Adjunct Faculty

Peninsula School of Art

Plein Air South – Instructor 2018

Wustum Museum

 

Selected Press

The Outdoor Painter – Plein Air Magazine’s home online – June 2, 2018, Q&A with Bill entitled, “On Art, Life as an Artist, and a Sure Way to Disappointment.” Read about it here: https://www.outdoorpainter.com/on-art-life-as-an-artist-and-a-sure-way-to-disappointment/

Oil Painters of America blog post dated August 20, 2018: The Two Keys by William A. Suys, Jr. OPA PSS

Plein Air magazine, April/May 2017, feature profile story of 5 pages, “William A. Suys, Jr.: Hit The Professional Trail Running”

Fine Art Connoisseur blog, Fine Art Today, “Hard Work Pays Off” posted May 10, 2017: http://fineartconnoisseur.com/2017/05/hard-work-pays-off/

Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, August 2016 issue, “Finding The Individual,” show preview for the artist’s August 2016 one-man gallery show

Plein Air magazine, April/May 2017, feature profile story of 5 pages, “William A. Suys, Jr.: Hit The Professional Trail Running”

Western Art Collector magazine, March 2016, show preview feature spread for one-man show, “Portraits From The Ranch”

Southwest Art magazine, December 2015, “Drawn To Painting” features a full biography of William A. Suys, Jr. OPA including numerous paintings

Southwest Art blog posted 11-16-15 of above story but with additional imagery: http://www.southwestart.com/featured/suys-w-dec2015

Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, December 2015, “Bringing History Alive” is a feature story detailing historic spaces used in masterworks and uses a full page image of the Suys portrait, “Senate Background: Governor Scott McCallum” which was unveiled in June, 2015 and is now the property of the Wisconsin Historic Society

Western Art Collector magazine, June 2015, “Mountain Summers” feature about Trailside Gallery’s “High Country Summer” show

Southwest Art magazine, April 2015, “Olmsted Plein Air Invitational” http://www.southwestart.com/events/olmsted-apr2015

Fine Art Connoisseur blog, 3-12-2015, “Westward Ho With Today’s Best” feature about Trailside Gallery’s “A View to the West” show

The Informed Collector, December 3, 2014, “Informed Collector Recommends: William Suys”

Fine Art Studio Online FASO Featured Artist, June 2014 http://faso.com/fineartviews/77750/faso-featured-artists-artist-william-suys

Fine Art Connoisseur blog; preview of 2014 Howard Mandville Small Works Invitational noting Bill

American Art Collector, “Urban Development,” February, 2014

American Art Collector, “Emotional Response,” May, 2014. This feature was the prize for the “Editor’s Choice Award,” 2013 Salon International.

Fine Art Connoisseur, “Today’s Masters,” February 2014

Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, “Tackling Big Ideas Together,” and “Off the Walls: Artists and Galleries,” January/February, 2014

January 2014 Artist of the Month at Artmatch4U http://artmatch4u.com/artist0114_Suys.html

Fine Art Connoisseur e-newsletter featuring William Suys’s ‘Best in Show’ painting from the 2013 Salon International, April, 2014

Fine Art Connoisseur blog, one-man show preview features, 2014, 2013

Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, “Today’s Masters,” March/April 2013

Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, “In Art, Animals Abound,” March/April, 2013

Southwest Art magazine, Gallery Show Preview: “William Suys, November (October blog), 2013 http://www.southwestart.com/events/worrell-gallery-nov2013

Southwest Art magazine, “Editor’s Letter” and “News Makers,” June (May blog), 2013 http://www.southwestart.com/blogs/editors-letter-spring-success

Southwest Art magazine, Gallery Show Preview, June (May blog), 2012 http://www.southwestart.com/events/manitou-jun2012

Southwest Art magazine, “Editor’s Letter,” March (February blog), 2012 http://www.southwestart.com/blogs/editor%E2%80%99s-letter-one-in-a-million

Southwest Art magazine, “Horsing Around: Ten Artists Interpret the Equine Form,” March (February blog), 2012 http://www.southwestart.com/featured/portfolio-horsing-around

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

One-man show at Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Door County, WI August 2016

“Portraits From The Ranch” Trailside Gallery, Jackson, WY, March 2016

“People & Other Animals” one-man gallery shows in Scottsdale, Santa Fe, and Door County, WI

Numerous exhibitions at various galleries representing the artist over the course of many years

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

Oil Painters of America ‘Virtuosos of the OPA’ Exhibition 2019, 2015

Oil Painters of America National Salon Show, 2018, 2015, 2013

Oil Painters of America Eastern Regional Exhibition, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012

Art Renewal Center International Salon, 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016, 2014/2015, 2012/2013, 2011/2012

Richeson75 Animals, Birds & Wildlife Exhibition, 2016, 2012

Richeson75 Still Life and Floral Exhibition, 2017, 2016, 2014

Salon International at the International Museum of Masters of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art, 2013, 2012

Richeson International Figure/Portrait Competition, 2018, 2011

Portrait Society of America Members Only Exhibition, 2017

Portrait Society of America, 2002, 2001

Door County Plein Air Invitational, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011

The Olmsted Plein Air Invitational, 2018, 2016, 2015

Masters in Miniature Invitational, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013

American Miniatures Invitational, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012

Richeson75 International Miniatures, 2018

Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art, 2012, 2011

Selected to Western Masters Show, 2012

Arti et Amicitiae Exhibition, Amsterdam, Holland, in conjunction with the Salmagundi Club NYC

Various group exhibitions at the following galleries representing the artist:

Rehs Contemporary Galleries, NY, NY

Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ and Jackson, WY

Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek, Door County, WI

Worrell Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

Marshall Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Dabbert Gallery, Sarasota, FL

 

 

Selected Publications

Art Renewal Center, International 2017/2018 Salon, 13th Annual Competition Catalogue, New Jersey, 2018

Art Renewal Center, International 2016/2017 Salon, 12th Annual Competition Catalogue, New Jersey, 2017

Oil Painters of America, 26th Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2017

Art Renewal Center, International 2015/2016 Salon, 11th Annual Competition Catalogue, New Jersey, 2016

Oil Painters of America, 25th Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2016

Art Renewal Center, International 2014/2015 Salon, 10th Annual Competition Catalogue, New Jersey, 2015

Oil Painters of America, 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2014

Oil Painters of America, Eastern Regional Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2014

International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art, 12th Annual Salon International, Texas, 2013

Oil Painters of America, 22nd Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2013

Art Renewal Center, International 2012/2013 Salon, 9th Annual Competition Catalogue, New Jersey, 2013

Oil Painters of America, 21st Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2012

Oil Painters of America, Eastern Regional Exhibition, IIllinois, 2012

Art Renewal Center, International 2011/2012 Salon, 8th Annual Competition Catalogue, New Jersey, 2012

Oil Painters of America, 20th Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2011

Arti et Amicitiae, American Scenes: From New Amsterdam to Old Amsterdam, Paintings by members of the Salmagundi Club, New York, 2011

Oil Painters of America, 19th Annual Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils, Illinois, 2010

 

Affiliations

Oil Painters of America (Board of Directors)

Portrait Society of America

President’s appointment to Salmagundi Club, NYC

 

Public Collections

The Wisconsin State Historical Society, Madison, WI

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Rockford College, Rockford, IL

Wustum Museum, Racine, WI

San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, San Angelo, TX

 

Corporate Collections

Kaiser Corporation, Foothill Ranch, CA

SCJohnson Wax, Racine, WI

Diversey Corporation, Racine, WI

The Sorgente Group, Rome, Italy

 

Private Collections

The Prairie School, Racine, WI

Numerous private collections worldwide

 

Scholarships

Awarded Merit Scholarship from The Center for Academic Study and Naturalist Painting (CAS), 2014

Awarded Merit Scholarship from the Scottsdale Artist’s School, 2013

Mary Knoll Suitcase Fellowship