2016 Leading Ladies: Leading Lady of Artistic Finishes

Leading Lady of Artistic Finishes
Susan Greene, Paint Imagery

By Melissa Mauzy
Portrait Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


Susan Greene graduated from Washington University School of Architecture and worked in the field for 11 years before honing her artistic skills and creating Paint Imagery in 1989. As one of the leading artistic painting companies in St. Louis, Greene specializes in faux, specialty and unique painted finishes on any surface, trompe l’oeile, wall murals, graphics and logos, hand-painted furniture, commissioned art on canvas and historic preservation. Susan collaborates with interior designers, architects and builders to provide the perfect design for all clients. She has been a part of many projects that have received awards through local magazines. Susan served as the only decorative artistic/historic preservationist of finishes at the Barnett on Washington venue, which received numerous awards for outstanding design and historic preservation awards. She belongs to BNI (Business Networking International). Susan donates her time locally at large playhouse fundraisers, decorative painting projects and other special interests. She donates hand-painted furniture and art on canvas for all types of auctions. Susan also started a fun event called “Hide the Art,” where she hides one of her original paintings around town for someone to find and keep. Susan is a leading lady for her dedication to her craft and love for her work.

SLHL: What gave you the inspiration to start your own business?
Susan: After working in the architecture field for 11 years, I needed a more creative outlet so I honed my artistic skills and created Paint Imagery.  By combining my passion to create beauty through the use of paint with my love of climbing ladders it became clear what I was meant to do. The inspiration came in believing I could be successful in a creative career that I love.  

SLHL: What is your biggest challenge as a business owner?
Susan: My biggest challenge in the beginning was understanding and accommodating all the different personality types of my clients. Once I acquired the knowledge I needed it was much easier to collaborate with clients and interior designers to reach the desired design. Currently, because I believe in true prosperity, my biggest challenge is growing in all aspects of my life.

SLHL: What is most rewarding about owning your own business?
Susan: Being the owner and artist of Paint Imagery fulfills so many aspects of who I am as an artist, woman, business owner and person.  I get to create beauty through art and make my client’s homes or offices an environment they love to be in. I get to explore, create and transform on a daily basis.

SLHL: What advice would you give someone wanting to start a business?
Susan: If you are starting your own business you have to go in believing that you will be successful. Fear of failure will create failure. I believe artists wanting to start their own business believe that passion and creativity alone will bring them success but there also needs to be structure and a yearly strategic plan that is followed and implemented. But my motto is: Have a plan; work the plan; but then be flexible.