A Study in Complexity: Susan Kreider Getty

Photo Submitted By Susan Kreider Getty
Story By Christina Heintzelman – cheintzelman@benchmarkmediallc.com

Susan Kreider Getty is an artist who does not wish to be placed in any artistic genre. “I work in oils, pastels, acrylics, watercolors, mixed media and cold wax oils in any number of different styles ranging from portraiture to abstract and everything in between,” she says. Described once by a gallerist as ‘one very complicated artist,’ she has come to accept the label of “complex.” She elaborates, “The changing seasons change everything that I see, and it becomes reflective of what my brain is seeing and what my emotional visual response is at the time.”

She is consistent with her use of watercolors when she is doing portraiture, which has become a much-requested commission for her. “Watercolors allow more expression as they are looser than working with oils which is why they are my go-to for portraiture work.”

Her niche in portraiture is creating the personal remembrance for family members of a loved one who has passed away. “I feel honored by the trust put in me to create a portrait for this personal remembrance. I find it amazing that I always feel a connection with the person whose photo I am working from.”

Although Susan studied art at Messiah University (it was still Messiah College when she first attended), she didn’t feel confident enough to use art as her major, so rather than art, English became her major and art was an enrichment. In 1984 she graduated with a Bachelors in English.

As life moved on, she married and had 2 sons. “Family has always been my priority and my husband, Robert, and I made a decision that I would homeschool both of our boys.” She did continue to paint, mostly as a hobby, and enjoyed educating her children for their first five years of school.

Susan’s art passion continued to grow and after her sons were enrolled in public school, she made the decision to finish her degree in art. “I went back to college at the age of 38 and took one course each semester.” At the age of 44 she finally received her BA in studio art, with a concentration in painting and drawing.

These were busy times as the family decided to move from Grantham to Dillsburg in 2008.  This new home had a basement apartment which was rented out for seven years. In 2015, after the last renter moved on, Susan and her husband decided to turn the apartment into Susan’s studio which is now named Stony Run Art Studio. “Up to this point I was working in the kitchen or dining room of the house, and everything had to be cleaned up every day. With the new studio I could now feel more fully committed to working on my art.”

In the six years that Stony Run Art Studio has existed, Susan has opened her doors for individual and group classes, including the ever-popular paint and sip parties. “Covid did change things and if I had small classes they could only be done as outdoor summer art classes. But I am now hoping that as things clear up, I can ramp up classes once again.” 

Susan’s studio time consists of the discipline of going to the studio to see what will happen, and times of motivation when she feels compelled to create something. “In a typical week I will usually have 3 to 4 sessions. I work quickly and intensively, usually in the morning because the light is so beautiful.”

Recently Susan was featured in a podcast Heart of an Artist, by Ben Hodge which is still available online. It is entitled Susan K. Getty of Stony Run Studio: A portrait of an artist and poet evolving over time. In this podcast she speaks of the roll of art and how it connects one to other people. She added, “Finding viewers who resonate with that is a beautiful thing. One can look at a painting I’ve done and feel something which can be quite different than what I was feeling when I painted it. I love that and I now feel free enough to let it mean whatever it means to others.”

Susan also writes poetry, specifically Haiku, and has one book published book (“5·7·5”) and is currently working on another book of poetry. She also blogs about her bout with breast cancer, using poetry, art, and prose. It can be found at www.mybookofdayscom.wordpress.com.

You can reach Susan through Facebook at Stony run art studio, Instagram @sgetty27, and her website www.susankgetty.com