By Stephanie Schmidt
Susan Shepp created this beautiful 5”x 7” drawing of a special animal in my life- my cat Scottie. I commissioned Shepp to make the card, giving her a photograph I had taken of Scottie when he was just a kitten, relaxing in his circle bed. After a few weeks, Shepp presented me with this expertly rendered drawing. She managed to capture his unique characteristics: white fluffy collar, stripe pattern, stretchy back leg, and relaxed overall look.
I’m very pleased with this card, and I have enjoyed looking at it as a special work of original art. Shepp first drew the image with a pencil to map it out; then, she filled in the outlines with black Sharpie, and finally used colored pencil to give the black pen more depth. Notice the pink shadow underneath his body, which delineates the soft pillow receding below his fur. The toothy paper adds texture to the fur and fluff. Her final gesture on the page is her signature, a trademark of all her drawings.
Shepp was one of the first artists to attend Gateway’s studio “58 A”, now called Studio A, where she expresses her artistic voice through drawing. Shepp draws all types of animals, usually working from a photograph for reference; she is inspired by her own pets, those of her neighbors, and wild animals she observes while on vacation.
Shepp also finds inspiration in popular culture, and stays updated on the trendy fashions of famous mainstream women. She loves to design stylish outfits. Shepp is an accomplished photographer; she has combined her photography and drawings to produce unique environments, which have been made into distinctive calendars. Work by Susan Shepp, including a 2014 calendar, is currently for sale in the Gateway Crafts Store and Gallery.