Sue Burke Harrington



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Sue Burke Harrington


Artist’s Statement

I work with acrylics, found objects, and related media to prepare abstract works that typically reflect complex, multi-themed visualizations. I focus on embedding emotion, often conflict, into my creations. My goal is to draw the viewer into the piece and to fully reflect the underlying theme, conveying that emotion or conflict independently and without distractions from specific elements of the piece.  I work with water, thinning the paints and letting them flow, establishing line and organic shapes.
I am concerned with the importance of color and its influence on the subtle transitions in a space.
Once I begin the process, I am immersed in the flow of the paint and the reactions of the colors to each other that often takes my work in unexpected directions. I love to experiment, try new things and ideas.  In the end ideas are exchanged and a new conversation is created via the artwork, the artist and the viewer.




Bold colors and strong compositions in acrylics on canvas, as well as digital photo collage art, define Sue Burke-Harrington’s art works. Originally a Michigander, she grew up in the middle of Michigan, Alma, where she began her interest in art as a very young age, always drawing, and painting.  The fields were flowing and the land was rolling, lakes and waterways were continuous and all can be seen in her paintings today.  She holds a B. A. in Studio Art from Michigan State University. Sue then continued her art education on the graduate level at Carnegie Mellon University, Michigan State University and Penn State, as she moved with her husband to new horizons.

As he began his first Master’s degree in Pittsburgh, PA, she began her art teaching years and continued to paint.  They both attended graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University.  When they moved to Alexandria, VA, she taught painting and exhibited at the Torpedo Art Factory. In 1975, he began a new position with Amoco in Chicago, Illinois, where Sue belonged to many art groups, continued to teach and paint as well as raise their two children. 

In 1978 they moved to the Houston area, where she discovered a vibrant art community.  Yet, in the suburbs, artists seemed to be few and far between, until she and a few other artists began the Visual Arts Alliance.  At this time, she was also teaching at Cy Fair High School and at the North Harris County College, now known as Lone Star College, teaching painting and photography.

Sue worked in the corporate world with her husband, as the Corporate Treasurer.  They traveled the world, Thailand, Australia, Hong King, Europe, the UK etc.  Sue enjoyed exploring the arts and culture of each land.  Hher travels always included a camera as well as sketchpads and pencils.  She often says that she would start climbing the walls if she did not have art to do.  After he died in 2003, she commenced life as a fulltime artist. Sue was a gallery member of Archway Gallery in Houston for 9 years, leaving it for more time to paint. She remains active in the art community in Houston as well as in The Woodlands, TX.  Her work is currently in Mossrock Studio and Fine Arts Gallery, The Woodlands, TX.

Burke Harrington’s studio is in The Woodlands, TX, outside of Houston, where she also lives, surrounded by nature and an energized cultural scene. She is on the Board of the Woodlands Arts Council.  Her artworks, including her digital images, can be seen on her website: www.sueburkeharrington.com or www.sburkeharrington.com and at her studio by appointment.  Please contact at sburkeart@gmail.com.