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 49–64 of 64 results

Summertime Cows Notecard

$3.00$12.00

What Cows Can Teach Us   Cloven hoofed, often spotted, cows are watchful, with tough tongues and blunt teeth perfectly suited to tearing plants off close to the ground.  They are ruminants, able to swallow mouthfuls of vegetation whole, chewing it later, in a quiet moment, when it comes up again.  Their stomachs have 4…

Read More
Select options
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…

Read More
Add to cart

Tufted Titmouse Lokta Card

$5.00$8.00

Active, social and vivacious, the Tufted Titmouse is the largest bird in the titmouse family, averaging 6-6½ inches long. They have grey-colored bodies above white undersides, rusty brown flanks, a pointed crest and dark conspicuous eyes. Both sexes are similar in appearance. The Tufted Titmouse ranges over the eastern portion of the U.S., dwelling in…

Read More
Select options

Tulips Small Journal

$15.00$16.00

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…

Read More
Select options
Wild Places Notecard

Wild Places Journal

$20.00$21.00

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…

Read More
Select options

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…

Read More
Select options
Wild Waterfall Notecard

Wild Waterfall Journal

$20.00$21.00

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…

Read More
Select options

Wild Waterfall Notecard

$3.00$12.00

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…

Read More
Select options
Winter Dawn Notecard

Winter Dawn Journal

$20.00$21.00

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…

Read More
Select options

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…

Read More
Select options
Winter Evening Notecard

Winter Evening Journal

$20.00$21.00

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…

Read More
Select options

Winter Evening Notecard

$3.00$12.00

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…

Read More
Select options
Zinnias Lokta Card

Zinnia’s Small Journal

$15.00$16.00

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…

Read More
Select options
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…

Read More
Select options

Zinnias Lokta Card

$5.00$8.00

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 come…

Read More
Select options

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…

Read More
Select options