The artist with Ian Craft of the Howlin' Brothers. The portrait is his now.  What a delightful musician!


Marty Stuart’s portrait was awarded 3rd Place in the prestigious Southeastern Pastel Society’s 2013 Members Show, and Juror’s Choice at the Artist Guild of Northwest Georgia’s Fine Art Competition in 2015.  But Susan will always remember with delight watching Marty’s expression the first time he saw the portrait in person.  He selected it, plus Susan’s portraits of his Fabulous Superlatives band (Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Paul Martin) and banjo picker Leroy Troy’s portrait, to become part of the country & bluegrass music museum he is building in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Marty also commissioned Susan to create a portrait of his new bass player Chris Scruggs which will join the other portraits at the museum.

Southern born and raised, Susan Gore Gardner grew up hearing Country, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, and Rock & Roll.  A lifelong love of drawing became a profession upon graduation from Kennesaw State University in 1980 as Susan embarked on a career as a wildlife artist.  Fast forward to 1990 when the artist encountered the medium of pastels and began creating distinctively Southern landscapes and still lifes.  During a personally challenging chapter in her life, the artist found the blessing of comfort, encouragement and creative inspiration in music.  A visual fascination with the musicians and their instruments bloomed and Susan found her life’s work: capturing on paper the essence of the musicians, that moment they are ‘in the groove’, illuminated by the striking colors of stage lights. 

Susan’s devotion to portraying the instruments with affection and accuracy is appreciated by players and listeners alike.  She frequents guitar shops including Gruhn Guitars in Nashville and music-themed museums as she researches the instruments for future portraits.  A connection has been made with an entire new group of people who relate to Susan’s artwork because of the musical subjects.  

Susan gore Gardner