Susan Gosevitz is an award-winning artist based in Toronto and Muskoka. She is a member of the Ontario Society of Artists, the Society of Canadian Artists, and Artists for Conservation. Her work reflects calming scenes of nature – Muskoka landscapes, rivers and lakes, or wildlife – that provide the viewer a moment away from the chaos of everyday life.
TVO: How did art come into your life?
Susan Gosevitz: Through my father. He was an incredible talent. Anyone of his paintings could hang in a gallery anywhere; he was that good. I asked him a lot of questions. I grew up in Burlington, and my high school art teacher was Robert Bateman. And he also taught geography. His influence seeped into my subconscious, and I grew to love—and paint-—landscapes, hills. I joined the art club. Little did I know what was inside of me.
TVO: When did you think it would become a career/vocation?
Susan: In 2004, I enrolled in the Toronto School of Art, with no expectations. I wanted to be more familiar with the business of art and to familiarize myself with new artists and materials. It gave me the confidence I needed to finally devote myself to art.
Then in 2010, I was accepted into the Society of Canadian Artists. My art life started to take off after that. From where I sit now, I never, ever, took a course or graduated from art school with any expectation to being recognized by peers. It’s more important to pursue excellence. Along the way I did get awards and sold some pieces but I’m still in pursuit of excellence.
TVO: Susan, your artist statement on your website reads, “I see art as a collaboration with nature. Together we create the real and sublime in one, providing a return from hectic and stress, from consumption and chaos to meditative simplicity.” How does art do that?
Susan: The world around us can be chaotic —environmentally, politically, all these things. When I first had to articulate what my art was about, I thought about how people feel when they connect with nature, walk through the woods, or when a child is taught the difference between an oak leaf and a maple leaf. When you start paying attention to nature, it’s calming and healing. There’s science that proves if someone in a hospital looks at greenery out of their window, they will heal faster.
TVO: Please finish this sentence: Without art in my life …
Susan: Without art in my life, I’d be empty.