Scott Burdick


Scott Burdick was born in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, where his mother and father early on encouraged his interest in art. “I spent a lot of time in hospitals as a child and remember my mother showing me how to transform simple shapes like circles, triangles, and squares into objects like planes, helicopters, and fish. It seemed such a magical thing and made spending so much time in casts and on crutches much more bearable.”

In high school, Burdick began taking life-drawing classes at the American Academy of Art under the legendary Bill Parks. After finishing the Academy, Burdick continued his study informally with Richard Schmid at the Palette and Chisel Art Club, where he met his wife, painter Susan Lyon. “It’s a wonderful thing being able to paint together all the time and grow as artists together,” says Burdick.

“One of the most profound turning points in my direction as an artist and a person was volunteering during spring breaks with my sister and a few other college students. We traveled to different places each year—to Mexico building an orphanage, to a refugee camp in Texas for people fleeing the violence during the Contra wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, and then living with a family on a Lakota reservation in South Dakota. These experiences put a face to events that had merely been in the background of my consciousness. It galvanized me to educate myself on the causes of such things. I realized the importance of taking action through my art, words, and deeds to share what I learned.”

His ideas for paintings come from everywhere. “What makes a subject attractive to me are the same things that attract us all. The beauty of a young girl, the character of a weathered face, the solitude of a farm at sunset, or even the story behind someone or something that makes it interesting.” Burdick believes it is an artist’s job to recognize when this attraction happens, analyze why, and use their technical skills to convey the feeling to someone else. He notes that some paintings are as simple as stopping at the sight of something interesting, while others may take more time to research than to actually paint.

Burdick’s numerous awards for painting include the 2021 Robert Lougheed Memorial Award, 2020 Donald Teague Memorial Award, and 2015 Jackie L. Coles Buyers’ Choice Award at the Prix de West Invitational; the 2007, 2002, and 2001 Artists’ Choice Award at the Western Rendezvous of Art; First Place at the Portrait Society of America’s 2010 Annual International Portrait Competition; and the 2003 and 1999 Artists’ Choice Awards at the Laguna Plein Air Painting Invitational. His work has been featured in such publications as American Art, Art of the West, Art-Talk, Cowboys & Indians, International Artist, Plein-Air, and Southwest Art.

Today, Burdick and Lyon live in a rural area of North Carolina as a home base between their travels and treks to places like Tibet, China, Africa, Nepal, Peru, Guatemala, India, Mexico, and throughout the United States and Europe. “I see painting as both a way of exploring the world and then as the vehicle of sharing those discoveries with others. I travel to find subjects to paint as much as to expand my horizons and understanding. More than anything, I’m conscious of the fact that selling paintings is secondary to contributing in a small way to making the world a better place.”

Scott Burdick is represented by Ballard’s Fine Art Gallery, Sheridan, Wyoming; Hindes Fine Art, San Antonio, Texas; InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas; Maxwell Alexander Gallery, Los Angeles, California; and Wilcox Gallery, Jackson, Wyoming. 

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