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Susan Bull Riley

Whether I am using oils or watercolor, fidelity to the natural world is a constant in all my work. My affection for representing birds and flowers in particular has led to collaborations with institutions where accuracy is valued as highly as beauty; I have paintings in the permanent collections of the New York State Museum and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology as well as private collections across the country and beyond. I have contributed nine paintings to the 2008 Breeding Birds of New York Atlas, which is being promoted in fine art circles as well as scientific ones, and several of my botanical watercolors can be found in a newly published anthology of the American Chestnut entitled “Mighty Giants.”

My training in art has been on my own, seeking out the wisdom of the painters I admire, whether or not they are still living. My academic training was in music, with an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and a masters in Baroque Flute performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. It’s hardly surprising that the music I am most inclined to play draws from both traditional and classical sources, much like the art I most admire.

A note about how these paintings were made: My paintings of flowers and other plants are done strictly from life. Their transience means that I am pressed to work with as few interruptions as possible until the painting is finished–depending on the complexity of the composition, between one day and weeks. All of the flower paintings are executed with close attention to accuracy, and in the case of the watercolors, are done in the tradition of botanical art that goes back hundreds of years and recalls a a time before photography when careful observation and artful representation of plants merged to create an art form that is enjoying a renaissance today.

The landscapes you see here are always begun outside, where I experience my happiest moments as an artist, but completed at leisure in the quiet of my studio.

To see more of Susan’s work, please check her website: www.susanbullriley.com

Products by Susan Bull Riley

The following products include artwork and/or writing by Susan Bull Riley. Most products are a collaboration of the wonderful artists and writers who have contributed to Acorn Designs over the years.

Showing 33–48 of 48 results

Silence Notecard

Silence Journal

$18.00$19.00

Silence Each of us needs a place to go where we can hear our innermost thoughts. It is only in a place that gives us silence and beauty that an answer will come to our most begging questions about life, God and love. Only in a quiet place can our spirits be nourished and spoken…

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Spring Peepers Notecard

Spring Peepers Journal

$18.00$19.00

The Spring Peeper is a widespread and familiar species of frog, known primarily for its loud and piercing call, a repeated peep! peep! peep! given by males from ponds and pools during the spring breeding season. Distant choruses sound like magical sleigh bells, but at close range the same calls hurt one’s ears. Although producing…

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Spring Peepers Notecard

Spring Peepers Notecard

$3.00$12.00

The Spring Peeper is a widespread and familiar species of frog, known primarily for its loud and piercing call, a repeated peep! peep! peep! given by males from ponds and pools during the spring breeding season. Distant choruses sound like magical sleigh bells, but at close range the same calls hurt one’s ears. Although producing…

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Spring Peepers Small Journal

$14.00$15.00

The Spring Peeper is a widespread and familiar species of frog, known primarily for its loud and piercing call, a repeated peep! peep! peep! given by males from ponds and pools during the spring breeding season. Distant choruses sound like magical sleighbells, but at close range the same calls hurt one’s ears. Although producing an…

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Squirrel Small Journal

$14.00$15.00

Squirrel The grey squirrel is a prolific and adaptable tree squirrel native to the eastern and Midwestern US and southern portions of Canada.  They generally construct their dens upon large tree branches as well as the hollow trunks of trees.  They prefer oak-hickory forests as they enjoy acorns and a wide variety of other nuts.…

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Cover image - Trillium Mini Journal

Trillium Mini Journal

$6.50

Tall trees tower in ancient forests, their leaves practically out of sight. As our gaze turns to the forest floor we delight to notice the elegant trillium. We are reminded of how awe-inspiring and soul-awakening our eastern forests can be. White trillium grows in the wild throughout the Appalachian Mountains. This perennial spring emphemeral thrives…

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Tulips Small Journal

$14.00$15.00

Tulips   Guess which wild flower native to Central Asia took western Europe by storm in the 17th century, built and collapsed fortunes, served as currency, led some to murder, others to suicide?  None other than the tulip, of course!       The flamboyant colors and elegant chalice-shape of Tulips are instantly recoginzable and…

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Wild Places Notecard

Wild Places Journal

$18.00$19.00

Wild Places Each of us at some time in our lives needs to behold a wild, unspoiled place large enough that our imaginations may wander and soar freely like a hawk just released from its tether. Like gazing at the stars above, we need wild places vast and not yet fully understood so we may…

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Wild Places Notecard

Wild Places Notecard

$3.00$12.00

Wild Places Each of us at some time in our lives needs to behold a wild, unspoiled place large enough that our imaginations may wander and soar freely like a hawk just released from its tether. Like gazing at the stars above, we need wild places vast and not yet fully understood so we may…

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Wild Waterfall Notecard

Wild Waterfall Journal

$18.00$19.00

Wild Waterfall What is it about falling water that captivates us? We build parks around waterfalls. Couples get married at them. But waterfalls deep in the woods are appreciated more by woodpeckers and ravens than by people. Perhaps the beauty of a hidden waterfall resonates with secret beauty in our hearts. Water falls at its…

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Winter Dawn Notecard

Winter Dawn Journal

$18.00$19.00

Winter Dawn There is a time to turn inward and be still and quiet. In this time we seek to expand deep inside ourselves instead of toward the world around us. Winter invites and challenges each of us to do this. Winter is the time for outward limitations and hardship, yet it can also be…

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Winter Dawn Notecard

Winter Dawn Notecard

$3.00$12.00

Winter Dawn There is a time to turn inward and be still and quiet. In this time we seek to expand deep inside ourselves instead of toward the world around us. Winter invites and challenges each of us to do this. Winter is the time for outward limitations and hardship, yet it can also be…

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Winter Evening Notecard

Winter Evening Journal

$18.00$19.00

Winter Evening The air of winter brings clarity of mind The vast cold purifying relam above us Reflects down on the evidence of our labors below   How do we treat our patch of Earth? Do we preserve it as well as we are able? Will spring rains trickle through, Clear and pure as the…

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Zinnias Lokta Card

Zinnia’s Small Journal

$14.00$15.00

Zinnias Zinnias are bright annual flowers which are extremely easy to grow and will perk up any garden site with their colorful presence.  Preferring hot, dry climates, they will also thrive in cooler, wetter regions.  There are many varieties of zinnias, and they are available in all bright colors except for true blue.  They also…

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Zinnias Notecard

Zinnias Journal

$18.00$19.00

Zinnias Zinnias are bright annual flowers which are extremely easy to grow and will perk up any garden site with their colorful presence. Preferring hot, dry climates, they will also thrive in cooler, wetter regions. There are many varieties of zinnias, and they are available in all bright colors except for true blue. They also…

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Zinnias Notecard

Zinnias Notecard

$3.00$12.00

Zinnias Zinnias are bright annual flowers which are extremely easy to grow and will perk up any garden site with their colorful presence. Preferring hot, dry climates, they will also thrive in cooler, wetter regions. There are many varieties of zinnias, and they are available in all bright colors except for true blue. They also…

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