January 19 - March 5, 2010



The Birdwatcher by Susan Peifer

Nature's Faces in Familiar Places

Watercolors by Susan Peifer

Homer Babbidge Library Stevens Gallery
Curator: Jane Recchio

Susan Peifer began drawing at an early age, inspired by family vacations in New Hampshire and from observing the abundant waterfowl on the shores and ponds of Long Island, New York, where she grew up. She first showed her pen and ink images at art festivals in 1975 and began to paint with watercolors in the mid 1980s. She now exhibits her work at 20 festivals each year in New England and New York.

“What I love most about Eastern Connecticut,” says Peifer, “is its variety of habitats. On our 11 acres in the rural town of Chaplin we have open fields, forest edges and deep woods, cultivated gardens for both flowers and vegetables, and a brook that flows into the Natchaug River. Nearby farms raise many kinds of livestock. This diversity supports an amazing variety of animals, birds and plants, and is the inspiration for my work.

Some creatures come only to particular spots, like bluebirds to the open fields and woodcock to the wet edge wood; songbirds are attracted to the flower gardens. Others use a variety of habitats—turkeys roost in the trees at night and then wander the fields; leopard frogs spend time by the water but move into the fields in summer. Wildflowers are equally exciting to observe, from trout lilies in early spring, to asters in the fall, and finally to brown stalks silhouetted against the winter snow.

The work in this exhibit highlights several local habitats and illustrates the animals and plants we often take for granted. I think of them all as individuals with personalities, trying to make a living, building homes and raising families.”