Susan Neilson

Canadian Artist

at Forest House Studio

in British Columbia


Susan Burnham Neilson is a Canadian contemporary visual artist who  combines her experience in classical drawing and painting methods, with personal interests in science and nature. Compositions range from simple to complex, often balancing intuitive energetic processes with precision or underlying structure.  Figures or hyperrealistic details often bring focus to abstract spaces. 

Neilson’s figurative work,  B.C. wildlife studies and abstracts  are built in translucent layers on canvas, panels, or on unique surfaces including natural live edge wood. Designs begin with observational studies and concept sketches, then develop through creative processes, responding to materials as she works.

Inspirations come from noticing universal connections: seeing patterns, beauty and power in wild surroundings and in human interactions with nature.


Forest House Studio was built in 2014. It backs onto the unique protected Central Okanagan Regional District parkland of Woodhaven Nature Conservancy, in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

Contact Us


Neilson originally studied Fine Arts at McMaster University, and then secondary school education with specializations in art and industrial arts at the University of Toronto. She continued in lithography at McMaster as well as with further professional training as an art education specialist at the University of Toronto. Elementary education, English literature, library and technology studies were completed at York University, the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia.

Education in the arts continues as a lifelong process.


Susan Neilson has experience in arts education for students of all ages and at all levels.  In the summer of 2016, Neilson retired from her position at Okanagan Mission Secondary School as Art Teacher. Then she filled in for a semester at the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia,  teaching two sections of the Visual Arts Education methods course for the Faculty of Education.

Now, Susan Neilson is working as a self-employed artist. She also teaches semi-private lessons in Forest House Studio, and occasional workshops in the community.