22: Suzy Norris

Oil Painting Dream Stories Location: 2026 Back Ranch Road
* Live music will be played at this location on instruments handmade 
by Susie & Fred.

After a childhood full of adventure, humor and lots of love, I was surprised when, in my late twenties, life touched me with a tenacious illness that has by now accompanied me for nearly 40 years. The illness (brought on by repeated exposure to toxic dyes, woodworking finishes and Lyme spirochetes), has tested, tempered, and taught me great lessons; an honorable, but most challenging partner in life.

An afternoon kisses soft feet

In 2013 I began to paint as a way of helping myself remember joy. Much of my past livelihood was flying away as it became increasingly difficult to keep up with my work as violin maker and herbalist. But as so many of us discover when facing life’s challenges, it is often when we are most stopped in our tracks that the sweetness of life finds it’s way to bloom within us. And so it was for me, when my dear partner Fred suggested that maybe I’d like to take up painting. With a few brushes and a box of watercolors, this new journey began, and has blessed me with daily wonder ever since.


Looking at life through the eyes of an artist is an amazingly playful activity. My art-eyes see beauty everywhere, and when I’m painting, the busyness of the world melts away, leaving me present, focused, and alive to the creative festival dancing through me. In the past few years I’ve explored watercolor, mixed media painting and drawing, digital art, and most recently oil painting, having discovered a brand of paints that is beautifully non-reactive to my very sensitive body. How vibrant and sensuous these oil paints are! And full of so many surprises too!