Suzanne Hetzel

Suzanne Hetzel

This Chicago area artist does pseudo-realistic paintings in watercolor. While they appear realistic, a closer look reveals how the artist incorporates a variety of techniques including salt, scratching, splashing, pouring and repel to create the finished affect. The artist works primarily from life and her imagination, using photographs only as reference. Suzanne’s passion is aqueous media as an expression of the world around her. She is interested in the forms of nature combined with the structures of man, and the endless variety they present. Recent works demonstrate a serious attention to patterns created by common objects, and how they integrate with their surroundings and each other. Suzanne states, "I have a genuine attraction for groups of things, and the way they interact visually. It is fascinating how objects can be so similar and so different at the same time".?
Suzanne was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and has lived and painted throughout the United States. The opportunity to travel has allowed Suzanne to experience a broad variety of environments that have been a source of great inspiration.?Suzanne began painting at the age of 8. She first experienced watercolor through the lessons by her grandmother, Dorothea Mendte Taylor. Her early studies included work at the Wallingford Art Center in Pennsylvania under the tutelage of Cyril Gardner. She later graduated from Moore College of Art and Design where she was privileged to study with Georg Sklar, Charles Fahlen, Edward Shenton, Janette Banks, and Robert Koffler.
Recently, Suzanne has been painting in other opaque media (acrylic, water soluble oils), with a focus on women and their life experiences as the thrust of her subject matter. She states, "Artists cannot be defined by a media or a subject. Their inspiration and form of expression must change to keep growing creatively".?In addition to her fine arts endeavors, Suzanne has worked as a commercial artist, written and illustrated a children’s book entitled Nony the Pirate, designed textiles for R.A. Briggs, and taught various commercial design courses at College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She currently teaches watercolor, drawing, and studio classes.?Suzanne has paintings and drawings in collections throughout the United States and Great Britain. In addition she has designed and executed murals for a variety of public facilities and private residences. She has been published in Splash several times, and is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Louisiana Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and the Illinois Watercolor Society.For more information, go to


Recent Realism Paintings

Occasionally I see subjects in a more realistic way; the complexity of the subject needs to be dealt with in a classical manner incorporating the watercolor as a critical part of the visual experience. In these cases, the painting usually has a raison d'être better expressed with a realistic approach.

Restraint “Restraint”

Inspired by a stroll through a department store. These bras were designed by the artist to represent what she imagined famous women would wear. See if you can identify Madonna, Beyonce, Wonder Woman, Laura Ashley, Susan G. Komen ...

Recent works

As the artist sees the world in shapes and colors, a new approach to technique has developed. The paintings in this portfolio reflect that advancement in style