Susan Vreeland, who died on August 23, 2017 at the age of 71, was the best-selling author of several novels, most of them concerning the field of painting — beginning with her second book, “Girl in Hyacinth Blue”, which focused on a work of the Dutch artist Vermeer. A high school English teacher for many years, she was past forty when she published her first novel, “What Love Sees”. After the Vermeer book in 1999, she went on to write six more works of fiction over the course of the next fifteen years.
Richard Wolinsky interviewed Susan Vreeland on January 24, 2002, when she was on tour for her third novel, “The Passion of Artemisia,” about the female baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
Susan Vreeland’s later books included “The Forest Lover,” about the Canadian painter Emily Carr, and e linked short story collection focusing on the French impressionists, “Life Studies.” Her final novel, ‘Lisette’s List,’ was published in 2014. Set in the south of France during world war II, it features as characters Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall. “Girl in Hyacinth Blue” became a made for television film, “Brush with Paint” starring Ellen Burstyn and Glenn Close.
An extended version of this interview can be found as a Radio Wolinsky podcast.
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