Artist Feature

Susan Woolgar: OUR West Country

Susan Woolgar is a talented artist who has been moving slowly from realism to abstraction in her work.

This abstraction of landscapes provides the observer with the feeling of colour, movement, and the essence of the scene she is painting. She creates a sense of freedom from stricture and intrigue that can be absent from traditional landscape paintings. Her current pieces on display in OUR West Country: Plein Air Painting in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes are abstract paintings of Alberta’s western landscapes.

Susan Woolgar, at the opening event for OUR West Country

It is valuable to experiment with abstraction when it comes to creating (and viewing) art.

Doing so can challenge us to go beyond our comfort zones. It can help change the way we think about art. The details that are focused on realism in traditional landscape painting are eliminated when they are abstracted. The general shapes of the landscape are softened and often reflected in imaginative colours that can be very personal for the artist and not always realistic in nature.

works by Susan Woolgar on display in OUR West Country

Susan’s work is an exploration of the beauty of nature in our own backcountry today. It also shows in a way how we can alter the landscape through our actions or lack thereof both in our surroundings and in art. She uses a variety of mediums to create landscapes that are anything but ordinary. Learn more about Susan from her own words.

“I paint water.

Clean water is the lifeblood of all that inhabits this planet. The Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains collect and disperse much of the water that trickles downstream all the way to Hudson Bay. Protection of this immensely important resource should be a priority for all of us. As a consumer culture massively dependent on fossil fuels – from the cars we drive to the clothes we wear – everyone is responsible for their consumer choices and potential impact.

It has become apparent to me in this time of climate change awareness, that we must put fragile eco systems ahead of our need to exploit these pristine, resource-rich Eastern Slopes.

Water is life.”

– Susan Woolgar

See some of Susan’s stunning pieces in our current exhibit OUR West Country: Plein Air Painting in Alberta’s Eastern Slopes, on display until March 12, 2022.


Susan Woolgar graduated from the ACA in 1977 with a Diploma of Applied Arts and Visual Communication. Starting her career as a Designer/Illustrator, Susan worked with various firms establishing her reputation and expertise. Leaving the advertising business in the early 1980’s her focus evolved to being a Fine Art Painter and Instructor. Susan continues to explore her artistic expression and love of teaching in a variety of mediums including acrylic, pastel, mixed media, and watercolours. Her most recent works have a more contemporary focus. Her “Abstracting the Landscape” explorations have met with critical acclaim by her contemporaries and her client base.”

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