From detailed still-life to portraits to landscapes, Susan Spar’s artwork looks almost real enough to touch as it hangs on display at the Sequim Museum &Arts.
Spar is a full-time, classical realist living in Port Angeles where she also teaches art classes at her home studio.
Her current exhibit, “People, Places &Things of the Heart,” is featured at the Sequim Museum &Arts at 175 W. Cedar St., Sequim, where Spar will hold an artist demonstration and reception on Saturday, June, 17.
Spar said her exhibit at the Sequim Museum &Arts shows a combination of her older, realistic artwork and her newer, more impressionist work.
“I’m a little bit of a metaphysical person,” Spar said. “I believe what we focus on we can bring to reality.”
Born and raised in New York, Spar said as a child her family always was “dragging her off to a museum” such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Much of her early artwork and style is influenced by Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. She hopes to “rejuvenate his kind of work” with fantasy and realism in her own pieces.
Spar received early training from the Fashion Institute of Technology before she moved to California in the 1980s where she briefly studied at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas.
She moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 2004 and completed her classical training at Georgetown Atelier in Seattle in 2012.
Some of Spar’s signature realism pieces exhibited at the Sequim Museum &Arts include “Jen Sleeping,” an oil painting of a reclining nude she feels represents much of her early work.
“She was the culmination of a lot of work I’ve done,” she said.
Spar’s other favorite early works include “Forgotten Chores,” an oil painting of a young student of hers sitting on the floor of a library reading a book. She said this painting reminds her of her youth.
“The story that’s told (in the painting) has attracted a lot of people,” she said. This piece may be one of Spar’s last traditional realism pieces as she moves into more impressionist expression.
Spar said her recent artwork is slowly starting to change and her subject matter is more eclectic, such as her mixed-media piece “Nesting Egrets” featuring oil on faux gold leaf.
She said like many artists she wants to find a balance between capturing beauty but also representing truth.
“I paint a lot of pieces for myself,” she said, but also she enjoys painting work people want to hang on their walls.
In the future, Spar said she wants to paint more subject matter that she feels represents the area and may consider creating two separate collections — one that is personal and one that is private.
“There’s much to be seen here that has its own inner beauty,” she said.
Her exhibit at the Sequim Museum &Arts will remain on display until June 27. Hours at the museum are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Saturdays.
Spar will hold a landscape demonstration from 1-4 p.m. and an art reception will follow from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the Sequim Museum &Arts. The demonstration piece will be for sale after its completion.
Spar’s artwork also can be viewed at Gallery 9 in Port Townsend and is represented at John Hansen Gallery in Boonville, Calif., and online at http://susanmartinspar.blogspot.com/ or http://www.susanspar.com/