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Meet Susan Hewitt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Hewitt.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
There’s someone in my family that created one of the most famous pieces of artwork everyone is familiar with but few remember his name. Mount Rushmore created by Gutzon Borglum, my great uncle. My mother, Jean Borglum Brinkema, always told me to stay in Arts. I guess it’s in the genes.

I did stay in the Arts for a while, going to Massachusetts College of Art, worked as a professional picture framer, and snagged a job as an assistant director for Circle Gallery. All of the above didn’t pay the bills, so with my MA in Education, I taught everything to 5th graders 22 years. I was a Teacher of the Year and had a wonderful time!

Recently retired, the San Diego Watercolor Society saw a “live one” joining their membership. I teach art, I frame, I talk to our crowds of members, and I organize events. I was their Member Shows’ Director, their First VP, and their International Exhibition Director. Now I’m the President of SDWS- they asked and I said yes to one of the best Watercolor Societies in the country. I feel like my Uncle Gutzon-think BIG!

Please tell us about your art.
“Watercolor is the most difficult of mediums”, I heard. Ok, I’ll try it! It is difficult however it is FUN and fresh. I love painting people and detailed images whether it be a colored vase, a moored boat, my daughter posing, or capturing a moment in time.

I’m looking to turn a corner to find myself- my style. People come up and mention that they know my work. Isn’t that fascinating?? They see it. I don’t quite yet. I love a frozen uniqueness I paint in my work to grab the viewer and offer a smile. I love the joy/wow factor I try to attain. It’s for me as much as the viewer to share what I’m trying to say in painted words.

It is ALWAYS a struggle but it’s worth it. What’s the fun when it’s too easy?

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Artists are like Third World Countries- always striving while a few make it. It’s an uncalibrated passion. As a famous artist was asked how long did it take to paint that picture? The retort was “45 years”. There’s “no respect”. The untrained don’t see the effort. However, they do know what they like.

Technology has helped the artists reach out exponentially. The viewer must discriminate their senses if they want good art or they can support the masses and buy what they like. We’ve all been there. I seriously love art that makes me happy!

We are one of the best Watercolor Societies in the country- top 5. We’ve heard this from visitors, other Society members, nationally and internationally known artists and workshop teachers. This was not an accident. SDWS is an amazing group of volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours to run the beautiful art gallery and Education room.

Visiting artists teach art to members and guests of all ability levels, every month there’s a new juried Members’ Show, and in October we have our annual juried International Exhibition of some of the finest watercolors in the world. Over 25,000 visitors come to the gallery annually so the goal is to keep it fresh and exciting.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Being the President of the San Diego Watercolor Society, I keep a high profile and show my work monthly at their gallery in Liberty Station, the hottest “go to” place in San Diego. I like tight deadlines, so I try to do two a month to the jury if possible.

Drew Bandish, a great teacher from Grossmont Adult Education, offers students opportunities to show work at libraries, local competitions, the San Diego Fair, and Foothills Adult Education facility’s walls.

I also display on Facebook when I’ve got a “good one” to shout about! And the best way to support the City Arts is to visit the galleries, vote for your favorite, and tell people how good Southern Californian artists are.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 9215 Jovic Road
    Lakeside, CA 92040
  • Phone: 619-850-6328
  • Email:
  • Facebook: Susan Hewitt

Image Credit:
Hardin des Plantes; Kate Hewitt

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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