Sue Sill

Location:
McAllen, Texas

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About the Artist:
Sue Sill is both an artist and a botanist. Sue formerly worked as C. S. (Sue) Gardner. She followed her passion for nature by earning a PhD in Botany at Texas A&M University, during which time she taught herself to create pen and ink drawings to illustrate her own publications, then went on to illustrate the works of other botanists. During her first semester as a graduate student, she was invited to participate in the 4th International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration, at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, 1977 – 1978. She appears in the list of participants as Sue Gardner.

Sue is a lifelong artist, but put her art on the back burner while she pursued a career in public garden administration and plant conservation. In 2009, she participated in a watercolor workshop in Guatemala, from which she returned with many photographs of the indigenous Maya. This experience launched her back into serious painting. Her work is influenced by her life in South Texas and several years of living in Central Mexico, as well as extensive travels in other parts of Latin America. Sue’s work includes portraits, often of the indigenous people of Latin America, as well as botanicals.

She is currently writing and illustrating a book on the rare and endangered plants of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Her current works are primarily watercolor, and pen & ink. She occasionally uses other media, such as oils and print making.

Since returning to painting, Sue has won numerous awards in juried competitions across South Texas, including a Best in Show at the Corpus Christi Art Center’s 2010 Members Exhibition with a portrait of a young Mayan woman in Guatemala. She also teaches workshops in watercolor portraits and botanical illustration.

Artist Statement:
Being an artist is to express something of who you are and how you think. My deep interest and curiosity in nature and in peoples of cultures unlike that in which I grew up, inspire my life and my work. After moving to South Texas as a child, I fell in love with the tropical plants and the Mexican influence. As an adult, I spent nearly a decade living on a mountain in south-central Mexico, have traveled extensively in Latin America, and now live on the Texas/Mexico border. It is no wonder, the theme of plants of the southwest and the peoples of Latin America are recurring themes in my work.

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