Growing up at the edge of the hill country in Central Texas, Suzanne McBride has been an amateur naturalist and student of both human and animal behavior all of her life. The desire to understand the dynamics of human emotion and the power of imagination lead her on an unusual path through technology, mythology, and a love of nature.
Suzanne’s original dream was to work among the stars – preferably as a NASA Mission Specialist. To that end, she earned both bachelors and masters degrees in Computer Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin. However, after some time at work in the computer industry, she realized that spaceflight itself was not her real interest; it was what spaceflight represented to her.
Suzanne always imagined looking at the Earth through her spacesuit visor and experiencing a profound sense of personal freedom, as well as a strong connection to and appreciation of the world and her inhabitants.
After twelve years of creating software for clients she rarely met, Suzanne sought a more terrestrial means of experiencing freedom and connection through the direct emotional communication inherent in drawing, painting and sculpture.
With an affinity for classical Greek and Roman sculpture, and a profound love for works by the High Renaissance and Baroque Masters, Suzanne selected college coursework in drawing, painting, and art history to lay a solid, classical art foundation. However, rather than earn another University degree, Suzanne elected specific training with working professional artists in their acknowledged area of expertise, including: William A. Herring of Clint, TX (drawing, composition and artistic mastery), Dr. Marilyn Todd-Daniels of Whitewright, TX (equine anatomy and color theory), massage therapist Judy August of Austin, TX (human anatomy), and Ellen Soderquist (figure drawing) and Perrin Sparks (pastel portraiture), both of Dallas, TX at the time.
Suzanne studied with and later became a colleague of the late sculptor Carl Bindhammer (Carving Arts Center in Plano, TX). Suzanne has also studied abroad both independently and under guidance in Italy, France, England and Russia.
With training completed, Suzanne built a body of work based on her love of myth and of beings four-legged and furry. Her paintings are illustrative and filled with dramatic, bright colors (as she says, “to emphasize the inner light of the critter”). Her dynamic sculptures combine elements of Renaissance realism and contemporary stylized simplicity (“reveling in the dance between physical form and the intangible essence”). Suzanne creates her paintings with mixed media (most often with watercolor, inks and colored pencil), pastels, and acrylics. Suzanne prefers plasteline clay to create the originals for her bronze sculptures, but will also work in wood, and fired ceramic clays.
Suzanne’s artwork has been shown in national and international juried exhibitions, and her work is in private collections internationally. Her favorite monument project to date, the John Denver Memorial Monument, is installed at the Austin Nature and Science Center in Austin, TX.