Collection: Susan Luckey Higdon

A life-long Oregonian Susan Luckey Higdon is well-known for capturing the essence of Oregon’s dramatic landscapes, from mountain peaks to wild rivers and especially the high Cascade lakes and streams. Her paintings depict the complex interactions of color and pattern in what she describes as natural abstractions. 

“Color, light, texture, shapes...I want to communicate what I see in a way that captures the spirit of the place, showing accurate mood and detail, but working toward simplicity.”
Over 30 years ago Susan began painting with soft pastels in stolen moments while working full-time as a graphic designer in an advertising agency and raising two young children. Her motivation was to do something creative completely for herself, working intuitively and moving color around for the sheer joy of it. 

In the beginning because she didn't have a studio, Susan used soft pastels because of the pure, vivid colors, which gave immediate, gratifying results. They also fit her method of laying colors next to each other to play upon each other rather than blending. Later, moving to acrylics allowed her to work larger and removed the need to use glass over the artwork. She developed a technique of using acrylic paints on cradled birch board, adding thick color, and then rubbing it off. Scratching and working the medium quickly to achieve an impressionistic effect with rich depth, building up layers, and adding detail, the final image emerges. 

A founding member of Tumalo Art Co., an artist-run gallery in Bend, Oregon’s Old Mill District in its 20th year, Susan was the signature artist for the Deschutes River Conservancy’s RiverFeast event for 11 years and has been featured in Italian flyfishing magazine H2O, Bend Magazine and a segment on OPB’s Oregon Art Beat, among others. She is an invited artist to the High Desert Museum’s prestigious juried, annual exhibit Art in the West. Her underwater fish series was hung in McCormick & Schmick restaurants across the country, and a long list of images have been installed in corporate settings and medical centers. Susan’s paintings have been juried into prestigious shows like the Pastel 100 and by jurors such as Wolf Kahn, and are collected widely.
Her cardline, which began in 2000 and features panoramic views of iconic Central Oregon scenes, is still available throughout the area.