INTERVIEW : Susan Carter Hall - Painter

I met Susan a lifetime ago at a party in the Hollywood Hills.  She was the first peer I'd met in my "adult" life that when asked what they do, replied "I am a painter."  There was no wavering,  no feeble attempts at justification, no dancing around it.  It was a declaration that stuck in my head and inspired me.  She knew what she was and was brave enough to announce it to the world long before I could.  

Fifteen years later she walked into church.  She didn't remember me, but I knew her in an instant.  We've since become friends, and she continues to inspire me.  She was kind enough to share a glimpse of her Sporting Life with us...

The Sporting Life:  Where did you grow up?

Susan Carter-Hall:   The Dirty South.

TSL:  What were your hobbies as a kid?

SCH: Swimming, climbing trees, all sorts of arts-n-crafts, horseback riding, tap dancing, gymnastics, Barbies, sticker books.

TSL:  What inspired you to pick up a "paint brush" and express yourself with art?

SCH: My grandmother, Alma "Moremom" Twente,  always put paintbrushes and clay in our hands.  She was a talented artist and fascinating lady who grew up on a riverboat in Cairo, Illinois and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. I also had a lot of encouraging teachers in elementary school and high school.

TSL:  What is your favorite medium to work with?

SCH:  Oil paint and things that make things stick together like tape and glue.

TSL:  Who is your favorite artist, if you have one?

SCH:  I have had so many who have influenced me but a few who I constantly refer back too are - Hockney, Matisse, Alice Neel, Cezanne, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, de Kooning - I am also very inspired by current artists - Peter Doig, Kati Heck,  Rosson Crow, Summer Wheat, Allison Schlunik, and Anzinger.

TSL:  What music are you currently listening to?  Favorite Musicians?

SCH: My current playlist consists of my Los Angeles favorites -
Correatown, Hot as Sun, Thunderado, Bandito Royale, Poolhouse, RT and
the 44's, and then there's the Black Keys and Gram Parsons who I never
get tired of.... I can't name a favorite.

TSL:  Who are your favorite authors?  Currently reading?

SCH:  Hemingway has always been one of my favorite authors – more specifically The Sun Also Rises.  I recently finished The Awakening by Kate Chopin and Man Seeks God - which is an entertaining observation on various religions. 

TSL:  What historical figure do you most admire?

SCH: If I had to pick 2, I would say St. Francis and Robin Hood. I admire them because, despite the fact that they were a little rebellious and misunderstood, their intentions were good.

TSL:  Champagne and Caviar or Beer and Chips?

SCH:  Wine and Cheese

TSL: Do you feel that the ease of access to media and information has improved our quality of life or reduced it?

SCH: Both. 

TSL:  What is your current "project"?

SCH: After much preparation, I am getting ready to make available limited edition prints of a few of my previous works.  Other than that, I am grappling with about 8 unfinished paintings in the studio that have minds of their own.

TSL:  If you could sit down at a dinner table with anyone-living or dead, who would it be?  What would you serve?

SCH:  Funny, kind, and smart people - in that order.  Woody Allen and Johnny Carson, maybe some of Kristen wig's characters from SNL, Lena Dunham....  I would serve something prepared by a chef because I am a poor cook, and I would serve lots of alcohol.

TSL:  Are you worried about global warming?

SCH: Concerned, but worrying won't get us anywhere, therefore I will try my hardest to do what I can as an individual to minimize my contribution to global warming.

TSL:  What is your greatest extravagance?

SCH:  I should be more extravagant.

TSL:  If you could live in any era, when would it be?

SCH:  Could I just take a time machine and visit them all?

TSL:  If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

SCH:  Ian Flemings home on Goat Island, Tobago.

TSL:  If you could own any car, what would it be?

SCH:  Pre 1970 Chevy pickup in white - mostly because my black lab Aida would look good riding shotgun, and I could transport large artworks.

TSL:  Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka, Beer, Wine, Sober?

SCH:  Sober in the studio, and maybe an Old Fashioned when I’m done.

TSL:  What else are you into?  Bullfights, Polo, Horse Racing,Motorcycles, F1, Rally, Croquette, Bocci?

SCH:  I’d be up for any of the above.  

TSL:  What's your idea of the perfect lunch?

SCH :  Anywhere outdoors on a beautiful day with a handful of creative people, after a productive and creatively satisfying morning in the studio. 

You can meet the artist and see her work in person, Thursday, January 10th at The Ebell of Los Angeles, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm.


  1. Susan is a Peach...and a good painter.

    Hudson Marquez

  2. Great content you have here!