Fine Art Painting, Seattle, WA

Statement / Biography / CV

Artist Statement

2020-I have been a student of dance for most of my life. I have studied Modern, Jazz, Tap, Salsa, and currently Hip Hop. I love the communal energy and collective joy that I feel in dance studios and in the nightclub dance scene. Since the devastating Covid-19 virus pandemic struck, I have been creating paintings inspired by the music, lights, fashion and euphoria I experience in the dance culture that I miss while we are compelled to social distance. My creative response to the isolation and grief from the pandemic is to recreate a visual world inspired by disco balls, rhythmic patterns, psychedelia, op art, movement, pulsing strobe lights, prismatic colors and sparkle.

My paintings from 2018 and 2019 are intuitive inventions that indulge in surface pattern and texture. Organic forms pulse with geometric patterns that compete, overwhelm, cooperate, tease, balance, or dance with each other. My work is inspired by Bauhaus textiles, 1960’s mod fashion, op art, frescos, urban decay and color interactions.

My collage-based method creates the illusion of flattened space that implies depth. I paint on watercolor paper that I cut or tear and reassemble on wood panels. I use opaque pigments to suggest density and physical weight. My rich surfaces develop into low relief tactile paintings by building up and sanding or scraping back into the work leaving a history of marks, color fragments, and ghosts of imagery for the viewer to discover. I want my additive and subtractive method of working to create an effect that resembles facades that show the passage of time, yet have my paintings feel wholly contemporary.

Pictorial metaphors play an important role in my paintings. I love to present imagery that suggests an inference to a conceptual link. I like the play of ambiguity in my paintings, where upon further observation, the imagery communicates and reveals associations to the viewer.


Susan Derrick was born and raised in southern New York state. She earned a BFA in Painting from Alfred University, NY and worked for 10 years as an illustrator near New York City. She moved to Redmond, Washington in 1995.  Susan Derrick has had several solo shows and her paintings have been included in numerous group exhibitions at galleries, art centers and a museum show. She is an avid art book collector, photographer, backyard birder, and a life-long student of dance.


1983       Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Painting, Alfred University, New York

2018       Color Interactions: Theory and Practice, North Seattle College,  Seattle, WA

      Art2Life Creative Visionary Program, (Online), Painting

2014       Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development Program
2010-13  Gage Academy of Art, Seattle, WA, Painting/Drawing

2005       Kelly S. King Faux Finish Institute, Lynnwood, WA, Designer Wall Finishes

1988       State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase, Drawing/Painting
1985-86  Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, Illustration

Solo Exhibitions

2018       re:surface, Studio 103, Tashiro Kaplan Building, Seattle, WA

2016       Fragile Beauty, Ombu, Edmonds, WA

2015       Impermanence, Studio 103 Tashiro Kaplan Building, Seattle, WA

2013       Corrosion, Dusted Valley Wine and Art Gallery, Woodinville, WA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020      20/20 Vision: CoCA Members Show, Center on Contemporary Art, National Exhibition, Seattle, WA, Nicole Dement- Juror

              Reflections from 1962 to the Future, Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland, WA, Donna Lindeman Porter- Curator

2019       Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, Central Washington University, INTERSTATE, National Exhibition, Ellensburg, WA, Grace Kook-Anderson- Curator

2018       MARIN MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Memory and Perception, National Exhibition, Novato, CA, Alan Bamberger- Curator

      Museo Gallery, Terrain: Exploring a Common Ground, Langley,WA

      Art2Life Academy International Online Exhibition, Donna Seager- Juror

      North Seattle College, Like Mother, Traveling Exhibition, Seattle, WA, Kelly Lyles- Curator

2017       ArtXchange Gallery, Like Mother, Traveling Exhibition, Seattle, WA

2016       Frederick Holmes and Company Gallery, 3 Person Exhibition, Obfuscation, Seattle, WA, Frederick Holmes and Colleen LenahanCurators

      35 LIVE: COCA Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA

      Bellevue Arts Museum, Women’s Work, Women Painters of Washington, Community Education Gallery, Bellevue, WA

2015      Larson Gallery, Visual Voices, Yakima Valley College, Yakima, WA, David Lynx- Juror

     The Bemis Building, Bemis Fall Art Show, Seattle, WA

2014       Seattle Design Center, Local Beat, Evergreen Association of Fine Arts Gallery, Seattle, WA

2013       Schack Art Center, Celebration!, Women Painters of Washington, Everett, WA

2011       Northwinds Art Center, Art Port Townsend Northwest Expressions, Port Townsend, WA, Gary Faigin- Juror

      Seattle Design Center, Members Exhibition, Eastside Association of Fine Arts, Seattle, WA

2009       Kaewyn Gallery, Waterworks, Northwest Watercolor Society, Bothell, WA,  Christopher Schink- Juror

       Trilogy Golf Club, Members Exhibition, Northwest Watercolor Society, Redmond, WA,   Tom Hoffman- Juror

       Bothell Landing Park Building, LiveArts, Bothell, WA, Diane Ainsworth- Juror

2008       New Dimensions Gallery, Waterworks, Northwest Watercolor Society, Bellevue, WA,  Betsy Dillard Stroud- Juror

2007       Harbor Gallery, Waterworks, Northwest Watercolor Society, Gig Harbor, WA, Robert Burridge- Juror


2016       Betty Jo Fitzgerald Award, Women’s Work: Women Painters of Washington, Bellevue Arts Museum, Cappy Thompson- Juror

2015       Honorable Mention, Larson Gallery, Visual Voices, David Lynx- Juror

                 Studio Challenge Finalist, Kirkland Arts Center: Artbeat Auction, Kirkland, WA, Larry Metcalf- Juror

2009       Best of Show Award, Eastside Association of Fine Arts, Members Exhibition, Tom Hoffman- Juror

      Jack Richeson Award, Northwest Watercolor Society, Waterworks,  Christopher Schink- Juror

      Honorable Mention, LiveArts Bothell Exhibition, Diane Ainsworth- Juror

2008       L.A. Frames Award, Northwest Watercolor Society, Waterworks, Betsy Dillard Stroud- Juror

2007       Juror’s Award of Merit, Northwest Watercolor Society, Waterworks, Robert Burridge- Juror

1984       Two First Place Awards– Drawing and Painting, Beaux Art Finale,  The Women’s Clubs of Westchester, New York

 Curatorial Projects

2015       Artist Trust EDGE Graduate Show, Galvanize, Seattle, WA, Co-curated with Louise Hankes

     Women Painters of Washington Gallery, Black & White + One, Group Exhibition, Seattle, WA, Co-curated with Cheryl Richey


       Graymoor, Garrison, New York


2018        Madrona Love, Self-published Nature Photography Book

1983        Smithsonian Magazine- Illustration

Special Events

2019        Video Documentary, Stories of Giving- Artist Susan Derrick partnering with Seattle Angels, a non-profit organization that supports Foster youth and the families who care for them. Video sponsored by Tinte Cellars of Woodinville, WA.

2016       Kirkland Arts Center, Live Auction Donating Artist

2015      , Art Beat- Alternative Talk 1150 KKNW with Pat Pauley

      Guest Speaker, Bellevue Arts Museum Potpourri Guild Luncheon

      Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine, Lead Artist for Fundraiser BarkART for Foster Kids, Urban Reclamations, Seattle, WA

               Kirkland Arts Center, Live Auction Donating Artist


2015       Centrum Artist-In-Residence, Port Townsend, WA

2014       Centrum Artist-In-Residence, Port Townsend, WA

2013       Centrum Artist-In-Residence, Port Townsend, WA

Work Related Experience

2012-13, 2020  Teen Art Teacher, Susan Derrick Fine Art, Redmond Studio

2007       Youth Art Teacher, Summer Camp, Susan Derrick Fine Art, Redmond Studio

1984-90  Staff Illustrator at LAM Design, White Plains, New York. Package Design and Advertising for Fortune 500 Companies-Pepsi, Nestle, General Foods,  Bristol-Myers, Xerox, Seagrams, Heublein, Reader’s Digest

1983-85  Freelance Illustration

Professional Affiliations

Artist Trust

COCA Center on Contemporary Art

Kirkland Arts Center

Woodinville Arts Alliance