Susan Watkins, born in Lake County, California, Watkins is best known for her portraits, landscapes, and interior paintings in both realistic and Impressionistic styles. Her works often depicted her friends and family, as well as the strong female in the household setting. Encouraged by her mother to focus on her art career, Watkins traveled across Europe and began exhibiting her paintings at the Paris Salon. In 1901 she won a Third-Class Gold Medal, which was the highest award American artists could win at the time. Watkins is recognized for her careful attention to detail as well as her expert use of colors. Her more muted, darker-toned works relate to her time experimenting in realism, while her vibrant and colorful works are influenced more by the Impressionist style.