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EPI Artist Inspired by Music, Poems

posted by Katie Slade on Saturday, August 2, 2014

Since the young age of two years old, Susan DeLoff knew she wanted to be an artist. She created her first piece of "art" on the wall of her home with tubes of colored lipstick brought over by the Avon lady.

Not wanting to have her daughter continue to use the walls to paint her masterpieces, Susan’s mother brought home water colors, coloring books, and crayons to feed her need to create. Susan’s mother was also her first critic, telling her that the horse she drew didn’t look quite right. She then went on to major in art at UNI for her undergraduate degree as well as her master’s degree and receive her teaching certificate from ISU to teach community college art.

Since then, Susan has not stopped creating art, drawing and painting hundreds of pieces. Susan takes inspiration from music lyrics from such artists as the Beatles, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan, as well as poems, classical music such as Beethoven, and famous painters, Van Gough, Picasso, Rembrant, and DiVinci.

When she begins work, Susan literally doesn’t stop until a piece is finished. She once stayed up three days and three nights to complete a painting. Much of her work didn’t take quite that long but she stated, "I won’t stop until it’s finished. Ten hours without stopping, no eating or sleeping."

Susan also takes the time to name each piece of art work she creates. Beautiful titles such as "Forgiving Jesus," "Celestial Mansion," and "Lion Lady," are just a few of the titles of her work.

Her art has been displayed at a multitude of places, including galleries in New York, San Francisco, and right here in the Cedar Valley. Most of her pieces are in the permanent collection at the Waterloo Center for the Arts and can also be seen at the Hearst Center for the Arts as well as the University of Northern Iowa. While Susan was attending UNI, the President of the University and his wife saw one of her paintings and immediately wanted it displayed in their home.

"Susan creates canvases of rare beauty." "A contemporary masterpiece." These are just a few of the words said about Susan’s magnificent pieces of art. She said when she paints, "I try to make beautiful work. Pictures of plants, people, flowers, and trees." Her favorite part about painting? "The colors. All the colors are the best part."

In addition to being a wonderful artist, Susan is forever the teacher, always wanting to share her wealth of knowledge to those wanting to learn.

What’s next for Susan? She continues to create art, but wants to start writing a short biography of each piece, why she painted it, the story behind it, to make sure future generations will know the true meaning behind her work.

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