Animal portrait

Susan Mills – inducing feel-good hormones through canvas

Art has given Susan Mills, from Kerry Ireland, an unbreakable sense of purpose that had been missing from her life until she began painting in earnest in 2016. While she had always felt destined to paint from a young age, Susan chose a career in science. She went on to earn a PhD in microbiology and worked in research for many years. But something was missing. Then in 2016, Susan’s beloved Tibetan Terrier Lady died – she was devastated. In the aftermath of her death, she decided to paint Lady to honour her life. She hadn’t painted in a while but at some stage of the process, she saw Lady appear on the canvas. It was a turning point in her life. She has always loved animals and liked to dabble in art when time permitted but now she understood the power of painting what you love, what you care about. She decided to take the plunge and devote as much of her time as she could to painting animals. In 2021, Susan published the book, The Human Rescuers, where she painted 45 pets, the painting of which appears in the book with the owner’s story of how their pet has rescued them. The book was a huge hit and featured on national TV in Ireland. Susan explains that it has been scientifically proven that when we look at our dogs, the ‘love’ hormone oxytocin is released from the brain along with other feel-good hormones. “My goal is to create art that might have the same effect,” she says. “I love creating work that makes people genuinely smile. Animals are so honest, it shines through their eyes, and there is no hidden agenda. That is such a comfort – to look another living being in the eyes and have a mutual understanding between you – and when it comes to our pets, that understanding is love. I strive to capture that in my work.”

Susan’s work is much sought after through pet portrait commissions and original paintings of Irish wildlife. Her medium of choice is acrylic. These days she is also exploring fun characters that aim to draw you out of reality just for that little moment of escapism.

Baby from The Human Rescuers Dog painting

Kailash from The Human Rescuers Dog Painting

Sassy from The Human Rescuers Painting

Soul Sisters Dogs Portrait Painting

The Cocky Bird Painting

Love me

Raven Eye painting

Leporidae painting

Mr Robbins and his Raven Portrait Painting

teddy bear painting


Facebook: Animal Art Susan Mills
Instragram: animalartsusanmills
Pinterest: Susan Mills Animal Art

Leave a Response

Pin It on Pinterest