McCann, Susette

Community: Gig Harbor
Phone: 360-791-6245
Media: photography

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2017 Showcase artist (click to see all 2017 artists)

Artist Statement

I love taking a photograph, then re-working it to create a different image or combining it with other images to creating something completely new.

My medium is digital photography with image manipulation using computer software. My main subject matter is landscape but usually including structures -- buildings, bridges, docks, etc. -- in order to have verticals and horizontals, as well as blocks of color, to use to compose the final image.

I am a computer programmer, so I understand and enjoy working with software applications. I use Adobe Photoshop to create modified digital images. Although I do much of the composition when I take a photo, most of the “artwork” is created on my computer. I generally spend hours working with an image -- using layers and different effects to create a new version of the image.

A number of years ago (pre-digital) I became attracted to hand-tinting photographs and took a class in Coupeville where I learned useful techniques and which also reaffirmed that I like to manipulate photographs and work with color.

My influences in art are landscapes of the Impressionists and Turner, the woodcuts and lithographs of Henri Riviere and Japanese paintings of the pre and post war period. There is no “intention” for my art except to create images because I enjoy doing so, with the hope that at least some will be enjoyed by others, too.


I am a Northwest native, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. As a child I loved being outdoors, but when inside I liked to draw and paint, inspired a bit by my father, who studied art with his GI Bill grant before becoming a draftsman. After graduating from high school, I took a summer course in drafting and then started college in Ellensburg as an art major. In addition to the standard courses, I studied drawing, composition and color theory. However, after dropping out of college for a few years to work and save money, I listened to my practical side and changed my major to computer science and in 1976, I graduated from The Evergreen State College and started my career as a computer programmer.

In 1980, I seized an opportunity to travel with friends to Ghana, West Africa, to help with a computer project. I loved seeing the beautiful baskets and fabrics and enjoyed learning about the art, music and dance, it was a wonderful experience. But what was even more wonderful, I met my husband, Jim, who was with the US Embassy there. The Embassy had purchased a Wang computer and needed help getting it set up and I just happened to have the skills to do so – and Jim’s agency was the owner of the computer!

After Jim retired from the Foreign Service in 1982, we bought a small boat together and spent time living on the boat in England, France and Spain. Slow travel in Europe gave me the opportunity to see a lot of wonderful artwork in both national and regional museums and galleries. I also lived in the beautiful French countryside, an experience that has influenced my art work today.

I eventually decided that I needed to get back to my career and we returned to Olympia, Washington where I started a business working as an independent consultant providing programming support on large and small computer projects. However, I was able to arrange my contracts to allow us to be able to spend our summers in France on our boat, taking advantage of the extensive canal system to inexpensively live and travel there.

We eventually sold the boat, but still found time for some travel between contracts.

Years later, when I learned Photoshop in order to manipulate images for websites, I discovered my medium. I now enjoy taking photographs, primarily of landscapes with structures, water or roads, then using Photoshop to manipulate the final image that will be printed. I still work part-time as a programmer, but now also have more time to spend as a digital artist and I’m having a lot of fun doing so!

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