Heart & Soul


I have been attuned to nature and animals all of my life

Artist Susan Boles

Artist Susan Boles

When my family moved to Claremont, Ontario when I was 10, I spent more time outside than inside. I would find forests with trilliums in the spring; animals started to trust me; I begged for a garden and grew plants as well as vegetables. I have been followed and guided by coyotes and red hawks. I am in love with birds of all kinds. Cats, both large and small, figure predominately in my life. They are my favourite characters in myth and fairy tale. They embody wisdom, beauty, fun, laughter and life lessons. They speak to me in ways that humans cannot.

I started exploring my creative self more when my daughter went off to college. I learned scrapbooking first. It just wasn’t enough and then I stumbled across Lifebook in 2015. I really haven’t looked back. I learned from all of those teachers in Lifebook, Paint Your Heart and Soul, Ever After and various other standalone courses from those teachers that I resonated with.

My true love came when a friend asked me to paint his daughter an owl. I was panicked. I had never done an animal, let alone an owl, before. I immersed myself in YouTube videos and wildlife artists. When I discovered the ability to paint what was so close to my ‘wild child’ self, I was overjoyed. It seems that they talk to me. I can’t tell you how I know to do something. It is just there and my fingers do it. I have learned to get out of my own way. I recently went through a dry spell where I was over-thinking my art. All that I had to do was get out of my mind and let them talk to me again.

Inspiration comes easily as my imagination is full of possibility. I never tire of watching them come to life. I love to paint and try to paint every day. I had never painted with a specific goal other than to hone my skills until my ‘beasties’ came along. They want to be seen, understood and honoured for whom they are. It is important for people to like my paintings and to resonate with them as I do. If they choose to hang one in their home, I have discovered a kindred spirit.