At Home with Artist Sue Yu Petty

Artist Sue Yu Petty is a vibrant painter with a love of color and texture. I met Sue last summer where I learned about her dynamic artwork and I knew that I had to share her creative passion with my readers. Her path to becoming an artist was quite unique in that she transitioned from working as a chiropractor with her own practice. However, Sue always had a passion for art since childhood. She ultimately sold her chiropractic business and devoted her attention to painting and homeschooling her children full time. I was especially interested to learn that Sue created her own backyard art studio utilizing a shed. I asked Sue for some guidance on how to best create a safe artist space out of a shed, and she gladly shared a few details and resources for our artist readers out there, which you’ll find later in this article.

“Abundance” 18×24, Oil Painting, Sue Yu Petty

Sue’s preferred painting technique is 3-D oil sculpting for a textured, dynamic look. I love that she paints subjects that bring joy to the viewer like butterflies, hearts, flowers, colorful birds, sunsets, or bold abstract works; perfect for brightening a home. It is important to Sue that her paintings are created with purpose and that they evoke a special meaning and feeling in each individual viewer. Observing and owning a painting is experiential in nature, and I agree that the best paintings evoke feelings and emotions.

Sue Yu Petty’s Home Decor

Sue’s home is decorated in a serene natural palette, ideal for showcasing her colorful artwork. She has given us a look at some of her favorite spaces in her home.

Now onward to the details on Sue’s backyard artist’s studio shed. As a mom who homeschools her children, it was important for Sue to have an adequate work space at home for painting and creating. Building a backyard shed was a perfect solution. I was curious about what it took to customize her shed for oil painting. Sue has been kind enough to share 7 great tips for building your own artist’s shed at home.

Art Studio Shed Tips – From Sue Yu Petty

(1) I would hire a local smaller builder if I could do this again. I used a larger company called Urlich. There was an online company called Studio that really impressed meif you have the budget. Searching for local independent builders through community Facebook Groups is what I would recommend.
(2) Go bigger than what you think you need…As an artist working on several pieces you will quickly run out of space and wish you had more.
(3) DIY for the interior finish out! Save money and use it for your art supplies…the inside material is going to get paint all over and messy spills…panels for walls and peel and stick floors will be just fine. 🙂
(4) Use heavy wire to string up high and create drying racks that keep the space open and have plenty of space to work.
(5) You will need electricity for this…a simple window AC/HEAT unit to keep your shed comfortable temperature wise throughout the year.
(6) Get a commercial grade air filter to help keep your workspace more breathable and safe.
(7) Lastly, I highly recommend a fan placed in one of the windows to push any chemicals in the air out, plus a ceiling fan, especially if you are working with oil paints.

Inside Sue Yu Petty’s artist studio shed.

Sue Yu Petty’s wall of inspiration.

Sue Yu Petty using her signature palette knife painting technique.

Sue’s signature style involves creating her bold artwork using a palette knife versus a paint brush, as photographed above. Her painting style was inspired and influenced by renowned Reflectionist Artist, JD Miller, who is known for his 3-D application of oil paint. After many years of painting Sue has mastered her own style of 3-D oil sculpting, crafting artwork created with warmth, purpose and love.

“Eternal Flame” 48×60, Oil Painting, Sue Yu Petty

Contact Sue Yu Petty regarding a commissioned piece for your space.

Author: InteriorsbyJacquin