Carden-Flicker seeks the essence of nature



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Photo by Judy Berman

Susan Carden-Flicker captures a moment and freezes it in her watercolor and acrylic paintings.

The vibrant colors, lighting and the moods are drawn from those paint mediums. 

In Connecticut, a Great White Egret stood at the edge of a pond and Carden-Flicker began to sketch it. In the “Great White Hope,” the bird’s bright white feathers stand out amidst the blue and golden colors in the pond. The watercolor is on display at the Art Gallery of Viera in The Avenue. 

Landscapes, seascapes and local wildlife are frequent subjects Carden-Flicker paints. The ever-changing nature that surrounds us is what she wants “to capture the essence of.”

Under the watchful eyes of her cat, Mandie, she paints a watercolor of a friend’s cat.

Her interest in art started in kindergarten. She was born with a severe hearing loss. When she got hearing aids, it opened her whole world.

“I tend to be more visual. I believe in having art in the world. It brings out my inner emotions, and I want to share that with people,” said Carden-Flicker, who lives in Suntree with her husband, Steven. 

As a teenager, she visited Norman Rockwell’s museum in Massachusetts. The realism Rockwell brought to his art captivated her. Another artist who inspired her was Maxfield Parrish, an oil painter and illustrator.

“With ‘Daybreak,’ I love how the lighting in his painting glows with the colors. It has more of an otherworldly quality, fantasy, mythology.”

Her friend, Bobbi Q. Brown, a watercolor artist and instructor, said Carden-Flicker is “kind of fearless.”

“She’s willing to take on any subject. What sets her apart is she never backs away from a challenge,” Brown said, referring to a subway piece that Carden-Flicker won an award for from the Brevard Watercolor Society Show in February.

The painting, “Androgynous Fashionista,” “is very detailed. It grabs your eye because it’s different and it engages you,” Brown said.

Brown said that’s evident in her friend’s paintings, whether it’s the stillness of a bird or the warmth you can feel as the sun shines on a steer’s hide in the pasture.

The emotional reaction Carden-Flicker’s paintings evoke are “just magical,” Brown said. “That’s very important for an artist because we want to tell a story.”