When Susan Carnes was 9 years old, her paintings and drawings were exhibited at the library in Superior Wisconsin. She loved to explore woodland trails bareback upon a black Percheron from her father’s team of horses. Lake Superior fascinated Sue, and she spent hours playing with the driftwood, crossing and swimming the streams that fed this inland ocean.
Susan grew up, married and raised three sons on their own cattle farm. She became a teacher and a counselor working in schools, and hospital settings in the Duluth/Superior area. After the family left home, Susan moved to San Juan Island where she found a wilderness of amazing beauty reminiscent of her childhood. She helped present the work of 4-H children at the fair. It was like a circle home. Susan fell in love with Mazatlan, Mexico while on vacation there, and bought property in the first week. The Mexican artists were wonderful teachers and she began to paint again.
Susan created My Champion out of the pieces of her life. She painted images of the wilderness in all its power and majesty, while telling of a little girl who learned to appreciate what she had. Friendship, wonder at the beauty of nature, stewardship, self esteem, creativity, and the power of play and dreams are themes. The longing to be unbridled and run free is graced with love in this portrait of a wild heart.