Hurst Gallery/Susan Dee Hurst
I have been a practicing artist for many years, specializing in portraiture in pastels and oils. My portfolio also includes landscapes I have painted of Arkansas as well as places visited. My style has elements of both impressionism but also realism. My goal in a painting is to engage the viewer in a visual dialogue that the viewer wants to return to over and over.
My formal training comes from Louisiana Tech University and private studies with notable artists including: Doug Dawson, Guido Frick, Albert Handell, and Jim Schell. The late Vena McAnnich of Little Rock Arkansas was my mentor in the portrait arena. An intensive portrait painting workshop with Daniel E. Greene,has also influenced my work. I have taught portrait and landscape classes in Arkansas, Ohio, and Georgia.
Juried shows where I have exhibited and won awards include the National Pastel Society of the Southwest; National Pastel Society of Arkansas; De Soto, Texas Annual Exhibit; and the Portrait Society of Atlanta, Georgia.
To showcase my work as well as a handful of other artists’ work, I opened up my own gallery in 2003. For five years Hurst Gallery was an integral part of the arts community on Kavanaugh Boulevard in Little Rock, Arkansas. The gallery was a successful venture and people often told me it was their favorite gallery in the city. The gallery specialized in photo realism, impressionism, expressionist, and some abstracts. Regular visitors to the gallery came from as far away as Alaska. Closing the gallery was bittersweet but it affords me more opportunity to concentrate on painting.
Portraiture continues to dominate my career as an artist. When possible I like to paint from the model but I also feel comfortable working from a photograph. Live sittings in the beginning stages of a painting and near the completion are invaluable to the likeness. So that the commissioned painting is enjoyed for years to come, I work closely with a client to ensure complete satisfaction.