Meet the Artist Behind These Beautiful Watercolor Paintings

Beautiful Watercolor Painting
Photography by William Dickey / Styling by Yukie McLean

For many people, childhood passions remain in childhood. It is rare exceptions like Sue Charles who rediscover these passions and turn them into something beautiful. For more from our Country Cottage Special Issue, order now for just $5 during our Special Issue Sale! 

Sue Charles of Washington Boro, Pennsylvania, always knew she loved painting. Her affinity for drawing began when she was a toddler and continued throughout childhood. She often copied pictures from books and made greeting cards for her family. But even with this talent, Sue fell victim to the age-old question: “How could I ever make a living doing art?” So, when it came time for Sue to go to college, she pursued elementary education, and her art seemed to be hibernating. “But if you have art in you,” she says, “eventually it is going to have to come out.”

Sue Charles
Photography by William Dickey / Styling by Yukie McLean

About the time Sue had her third child, an uncontrollable surge of creativity emerged and she decided to seek out art lessons. “I initially chose watercolors because I had little children at the time, and I knew that it was non-toxic and an easy clean up,” says Sue, who later learned that it’s considered one of the most difficult mediums. Because watercolors are so transparent, an artist can’t cover up what they have already done, so preliminary planning is essential. It is also extremely difficult to mix colors, but Sue says she found painting with watercolors came to her naturally. She was in and out of painting when her fourth child came along but has now found a steady business as both an artist and teacher.

Sue’s paintings, such as the painting shown above, reflect what she sees in her daily life. They are a beautiul depiction of everyday life and how something as normal as a young boy playing basketball in the front yard of his family home can strike inspiration in people like Sue. She turns the mundane into magic.