"I paint from a longing to give form to what is hidden, even to me, until I paint it."

The magical paintings and sketches of Susan Cornelis come from a fertile imagination, constant refinement of craft, and a contemplative spirit that watches the inner life unfold through her art.

Following an earlier career in Social Work, Cornelis took up watercolor painting and discovered her passion as a painter, seeking out internationally recognized teachers and steeping herself in design and color theory. At the same time she explored her interest in story telling through courses children's book writing and illustration.

Her early watercolor paintings of animals led to commissions and recognition for her illustrations in the children's picture book The Great Hiss. She further developed her skills in drawing and illustration and extended her storytelling to sketching scenes of her everyday life.

When her family moved to California wine country in 2000, her love of the landscape blossomed into awards as the Sonoma Country Harvest Fair poster artist for three years running, as well as commissions from wineries.

Gradually her art making became less technique based and more of a vehicle to freely express the forces of nature, timeless struggles, and inner wisdom. In her paintings she adopted new materials - acrylics, inks and collage - to give her voice greater range of expression. Her sketching became emboldened as she moved into the more challenging arena of sketching in public and capturing events in action.

New projects and bodies of work are continually taking birth as Cornelis explores new territory in her painting life. Meanwhile she finds new ways to share her art discoveries with others through blogging, writing, and teaching workshops. Her paintings can be seen in various art venues in Northern California.

"There is a thrill of showing up to paint with the knowledge that the spirit communicates directly using the language of colorful imagery." -Cornelis

November 2016

Artist Resume

Artist Exhibitions 1992-present

Solo Shows:
2015 Moshin Winery and La Crema tasting room, Healdsburg, CA
2014 "The Golden Thread" collaborative painting installation, Sebastopol Center for the Arts
2014 Rochioli Winery, Sebastopol Center for the Arts
2013 Carneros Inn, VML Winery, Talisman Winery, RafordHouse (Napa and Sonoma Counties)
2012 "Four Hands Painting", collaborative show with Suzanne Edminster at Phantom IV Gallery, Windsor, CA
2012"The Art of a Thousand Words: Integration of Text and Visual Image", Dominican University, San Rafael, CA
2010 Sebastopol Center for the Arts: "The Personal Image Revealed", solo show of art journal books and process
2002-2014 ARTrails Open Studios (juried show)
2001-2005 Art at the Source Open Studios
2007 Deuce Restaurant Art Show
2004-2006 Graton Gallery, Graton, CA
1996-2000 East Bay Open Studios, Alameda Co.

Group Exhibitions
2015 International Contemporary Art Exhibition 2015, Assisi, Italy
1996-present exhibitions throughout California and New York

Private and corporate commissions including: Sonoma County Harvest Fair poster (3 years), Commonwealth Financial
Network, Lynmar Estate Winery, Charlie Brown statue for RR Square Assn, Santa Rosa, banner for Forestville Chamber of Commerce

Ongoing "The Artful Muse: Mixed Media Painting" in studio
2016 "The Poetry of Wabi Sabi", Sebastopol Center for the Arts and Mendocino Arts Association
2016 "Exp. Acrylic and Mixed Media" for Pleasanton Art League
2015 "Experimental Painting Workshop II", Sebastopol Center for the Arts
2014 "Experimental Acrylic and Mixed Media Painting Workshop, Sebastopol Center for the Arts
2006-present Imagine With Art mixed media painting workshops
2004-present Painting demonstrations for local art groups, art supply stores
2013 “Intuitive Painting, Inks and Gesso” workshop for Mendocino Co. Art Association
2012 Collage and Writing workshop in “The Healing Art of Writing” conference, Dominican University, CA
2012 Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, “Tapping the Creative Nature”
2010, 2011 Wellness Through Art Expression workshops for nurses
2011 Pleasanton Art Center, “Sketchbooking with Collage”
2010 Gualala Art Center, "Travel Sketchbooking"
2010 Sebastopol Center for the Arts, "Art Journaling"
2009 Mendocino Art Center, "Nature Sketchbooking"
2007 Chops Teen Center, "Fantascapes" workshop,
1998-2005 Watercolor painting workshops, in Sebastopol, CA studio and Albany, CA
1986-1992 Learn to Meditate courses for adults, teens, children
1976-1980 Trained counselors in crisis intervention


2006-present Conversations With the Muse (http://susancornelis.wordpress.com, art and sketchbook blog)
2015 Assisi International Exhibition and Art Guide 2015
2013 “Creative Contagion”, article in the ARTrails catalogue
2013 In the Company of Muses, eBook and downloadable art course with video and audio.
2009-present Imagine With Art monthly newsletters
2010 http://www.ladybuglive.com/gallery, an internet radio interview about the creative process, art and healing, meditation and more
2009 Conversations with the Muse: The Art Journal as Inner Guide, written and illustrated by Susan Cornelis, http://www.blurb.com
2006-present Conversations With the Muse, http://susancornelis.wordpress.com, art blog
2008 Create Better Paintings webzine, article titled "Soul Sketching"
2003-2005 Sonoma County Harvest Fair poster/wine label artist
2002 Watercolor Illustrations (26) for children's picture book, The Great Hiss
2000 Canine Images Magazine, award winning pet portrait
1998-99 Darshan Magazine, seven poetry illustrations


July 2016 International Urban Sketchers Symposium, Manchester, England
ySept. 2015, Art Residency, Artestudio Ginestrelle, Assisi, Italy
1992-present, Painting workshops with internationally known instructors/mentors
1995-present Figure drawing/painting studio classes
1993-1994 Mills College, children's book writing and illustration
1982-1998 Coursework in eastern philosophy and scriptures
1982-present Meditation and healing arts retreats
1975-1977 Catholic University, Washington, D.C., Master of Social Work
1968-1973 University of California, San Diego, B.A. Social Anthropology
1970-1971 University of Bergen, Norway