Suzarita the artist, aka Suzy Seymour, was born in Boulder, Colorado. At the ripe age of 19, she headed for the south shore of Oahu, Hawaii. After a few years of “fun” and a stint of misery in Seattle it was time to discover her two loves: painting and surfing. Suzarita started taking art classes at Kapiolani Community College (KCC) and bought a surfboard. By going into the ocean daily, she taught herself to surf! While working at the Koa Gallery at KCC and making new art friends, one of them suggested they join a painting trip to Europe, led by Noreen Naughton, titled “Following the Impressionist painters path”.
The eccentric color and fun attitude put into Suzarita’s paintings are part of what makes them so vibrant. Using a traditional canvas, brushes, and oil paint, Suzarita puts a modern twist on classic portraiture. With the synergy of pigment and the dance of the brushstrokes (and sometimes her fingertips), the result is a picturesque representation that will easily put a smile on your face! Most commonly working on 18x24 inch frames, the face is clearly the main focus, being oversized and brought out in bright hues. Suzarita is drawn to the feelings we all have inside but inspired by putting them on the outside through the use of wild color.
Suzarita’s oil paintings and other art forms, such as her famous “marble tile coasters”, done with paint pens, can be found in private collections around the globe.
It was on this journey where the influence of Van Gogh started to be seen in Suzarita’s work. Having more “fun”, she set up her easel in Van Gogh’s wheatfields to create her first stylized work titled “Wheatfields at Auvers Sur Oise” painted in France in July 2000. Although Suzarita could not speak French, some local French men walked by and communicated that she was standing about 10 feet away from where Van Gogh created “Wheatfield with Crows” in 1890. It was a magical experience for Suzarita; thus her love for painting began.
While continuing her education, now at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Suzarita would spend her evenings and weekends doing hand drawn henna tattoos and making airbrushed shirts and hats for the tourists of Waikiki. For her, “drawing on peoples skin everyday is truly how I learned to draw!” During one of her last semesters, Suzarita had the opportunity to fulfill two of her lifelong dreams: One, to study Spanish in Spain and two, travel around the world. She thought if she was already going to be halfway around the world, might as well continue the rest of the way and complete a round the world trip. So, that is exactly what she did and made it a point to visit every art museum in every city along the way. Five months later, Suzarita had visited more than 30 art museums around the world.
Upon graduation in 2005 with a BA in Painting and a minor in Business and with plans to open her own business with her art, Suzarita was struck with another opportunity to make one of her dreams come true and become a Flight Attendant. Having always been a passionate traveler and ready for change, Suzarita enjoyed the experience of life out of a suitcase and did so for five years. Her favorite part of airline life was the free flights, so she took full advantage and attended Drew Brophy's paint pen workshop in San Clemente, California. This is when her non-toxic, water based, child friendly version of painting with Posca Pens began. And good thing, because after her marriage in 2007, came a beautiful princess named Solana in 2008! Realizing, there was no time for painting and after a severe surfing accident in 2011, Suzarita decided that it was time for yet another change. Having trouble trying to figure out exactly how following her passion of painting could provide an income, Suzarita needed to find something to pay the bills. That’s when she found Girls Who Surf, a surf school focusing on female instructors. It was just what the doctor ordered! For the next three years, Suzarita mastered the art of teaching surfing and appreciating the physical outlet for stress not knowing that these would be the hardest years of her life. Going through a divorce and ending up a single mom, somehow Suzarita managed to fit art into her schedule. Thanks to Kuloko Arts owner, Kathleen King who saw how talented Suzarita was and pushed her to sell at the Waikiki gallery - at least, until the gallery closed in 2013. It was the following year after lots of contemplating on what the next chapter held for Suzarita, when she had her vision of how to do the art biz. Today you can find her at home in Honolulu, Hawaii painting, surfing, raising her daughter and hopefully, teaching a few surf lessons here and there.