Abstract mixed media artist Susan J. Harris specializes in intuitive and minimalist paintings.

Her intuitive works are comprised of deep colors and rich textures that capture the natural beauty of the world around her. She works layer by layer, building depth into the painting with modeling paste, natural fibers, papers, acrylic gels and found objects. The creating process takes time, and throughout each step she adds color, different hues that are washed, glazed, troweled or scumbled, building upon the layers that came before it. Each painting becomes a discovery, a story, and a study of the time it takes her to create it. A single piece can take weeks or months to complete. Her work is sought out by both personal collectors and public organizations that recognize the unique, intuitive, and introspective aspects of her art.

In 2018, a desire to simplify design and process led Harris to begin a new body of minimalist work inspired by the calming effect of elemental form and structure. “Less is more” is one of the best ways to describe her minimalist style. Her minimalist paintings incorporate the stripping away of all unnecessary elements while focusing on what needs to be there and using neutral or simple color palettes with an intentional purpose of bringing the mind back to a basic sense of calm.

Born in 1952 in Bristol, Virginia, Susan’s passion for art began at a young age. After moving to North Carolina in her early childhood, she took private lessons from the late North Carolina artist, Francis Kendall, who instilled in Susan not only a love for many art forms, but a desire to experiment and find joy in every part of the journey. Throughout high school and college, Susan expanded her studies in a variety of disciplines, including pottery, sculpture, and stained glass, all of which have influenced her use of color and texture. She married her husband, John, in 1975, and created art in her spare time as they began raising their family.

In 2004, after working in the corporate world, raising two children and caring for her aging parents, Susan returned to her lifelong love of art and her dream of painting full-time. It began as a way to to express and process the changes she experienced in life and encourage healing, but her art soon began connecting with others going through similar experiences within themselves. Her early exhibits centered around themes of joy and healing, and those themes continue to recur in her work to this day.

Currently, she is active in the art world on a local, national and international level. She has served as a juror for fine art exhibitions and assisted in overseeing a gallery of local artists in Greensboro, NC for several years. Her work has been published internationally and her abstracts can be found in private and commercial installations throughout the US, Canada and Europe. She works out of her home studio in Randolph County, where she and her husband live on 64 acres of beautiful countryside, close to their two grown children.

Artist Statement

I paint intuitively from the heart, letting what's on the inside spill out onto the canvas. This translates into a painting full of emotion and thought. My intuitive paintings consist of multiple layers of deep color and rich textures inspired by faith; centered around themes of healing, joy and restoration.

My current body of minimalist work, inspired by the calming effect of elemental form and structure, touches that desire within me to pull away from the clutter and chaos of the world and embrace simplicity. ‘Less is more’ expresses this artistic approach where form, texture and color are pitted against empty space.

In 2011, I noticed circles had found their way onto most of my artwork so I took an introspective look to analyze why they kept appearing. For me, circles represent commitment and loyalty. I concluded that painting does, indeed, have a tendency to reveal who I truly am--as an individual and as an artist. The circles in my artwork represent my loyalty to remain true to myself and my commitment to paint from the heart. My paintings incorporate at least one circle, maybe more, and may be found in the painting itself or on an outer edge, pronounced or subtly embedded.

Gallery Representation 

NC Fine Art & Gifts

ABOUT NC FINE ART & GIFTS -- The Art Shop, originally established in 1899 as an art gallery and photography shop and one of Greensboro's oldest and most well respected businesses, recently introduced a new space adjacent to the main gallery that features unique visual perspectives of North Carolina's rich scenery and history. Part of the inspiration behind the formation of NC Fine Art & Gifts is the abundance of great art being produced in our area. The new gallery features an array of beautiful works, including fine art, pottery, and an assortment of locally hand-crafted gift items created by local and regional artists.   

NC Fine Art & Gifts
(located right next door to The Art Shop)
3900 West Market St., Ste. A
Greensboro, NC 27407

Click here for driving directions, courtesy Google maps

Favorite Inspirations

Sunsets, nature, abstract patterns and textures found in everyday life.