William Suys, b. 1955, Wisconsin, United States
Art critic Brian Sherwin commented (6-30-2014, Fine Art Views) on Suys’s paintings, stating, “Artist William Suys is clearly able to capture a wide range of emotions. I’m drawn to the fantastic portraits he has done of various people -- he does not hold back when capturing sorrow or joy on a surface. Additionally, William’s work involving animals is some of the best that I’ve seen… he skillfully captures their personalities -- revealing that there is more to an animal than ‘just’ an animal. In my opinion, William is a master painter… he is also a master of conveying emotion.”
Raised by deaf parents, William Suys and his two sisters grew up in an environment tuned-in to visual cues. Bill drew constantly as a kid, covering all paper surfaces and grade school test margins with airplanes and helicopters. He once escaped an expected knuckle-rapping when the nun instead tapped his 'art'- covered notebook and whispered, "Keep that up!" He has.
Though painting nights and weekends as long as he can remember and taking his classical art education into his own hands after college (Suys wishes he'd known about the atelier system when he was attending the University of Minnesota; art majors in those days received scant classical training) Suys did temporarily veer away from formal art employment by leaving the S.C. Johnson Wax art department – his first job after college and a coup at the time he was hired – by transitioning to 'Corporate' and finishing a second degree in business management, with graduate work in finance. Bill admits to wearing wingtips for a number of years and credits 'JWax' and its relentless quest for excellence with teaching him the importance of quality and the value of providing an outstanding product.
In 1995, Bill left corporate life to become a full-time painter but almost immediately found himself a single parent to his three children, giving him a priceless role but delaying his earnest career-building until the kids had 'fledged'. A lover of diverse subject matter, Suys continues to distill his vision toward primarily figurative work – human and animal – as well as conceptual realism and the occasional surprise. Suys's signature "People and Other Animals" tagline applies to his current gallery shows containing interesting humans and animals that often seem human. If Bill goes missing, he might have snuck off to a plein air event or could be out prowling the countryside for animals and architecture he'd like to paint, but most of the time, Bill can be found in his studio, music playing, at the easel.