Artist and Educator




Montessori 0-3

The painting to the left is Michael Olaf holding his nephew Tai. An example of the artist's focus on the development of the human being in the first three years of life. At this page are translations of a brief birth-three overview (taken from the Book "The Joyful Child" in several languages: Translations

Birth to three child development video clips

The Dalai Lama

Read about the conference in Sikkim, Northern India, Science, Spirituality, and Education, a meeting of the Dalai Lama, scientists, philosophers, and educators including 5 Montessorians. Sikkim

This painting was made from photographs the artist took of the Dalai Lama in Sikkim, and others in books and magazines.

I live in heaven. My home is a sphere that travels around the sun. It is called Earth. —Maria Montessori, MD

In 2003, for her 60th birthday, Susan traveled through Tibet, ending at the school for the blind in Lhasa. The painting to the right is of an old woman waiting for someone to unlock the door to Milarepa's cave so she could turn the prayer wheel.

Read details and about the school for the blind in Lhasa, here: Tibet

Wheel of Life To help bring good Montessori education to Bhutan Susan has visited three times. The picture to the left is from photographs she was allowed to take in a class for young monks. Read about these trips, and the establishment of a Montessori class here: Bhutan A class for young monks in Bhutan
Susan in Palesstinian village

Since her first trip in 1963, Susan has been interested in helping children in this part of the world. For more information from her 2011 trip see:
Montessori in the Middle East

A baptism in Russia

While consulting the the Montessori School of Moscow Susan happened upon a Russian Orthodox baptism which inspired this painting. See more of this visit here: Russia

Even if you do not read Russian, your students/children will enjoy looking at the Russian script on this Montessori language chart: chart

In 2002 and 2005 Susan studied Buddhism in Dharamsala, India, and gave talks to the Montessori teachers at the Tibetan Children's Village: TCV Children's Village page: TCV home page

In this painting to the right the young son of a friend, making monasteries of Russian dolls she took him.

Matreshkas After many years of teaching children from 2-13 in Montessori classes, Susan respected her youngest child's desire to homeschool. The painting to the right was done during that time. Michael is now a lawyer and musician. To read a brief account of his homeschooling memories, see this page:
Montessori homeschooling
Soccer on Moonstone Beach, Trinidad, CA
Creamation in Nepal

From the painting "Cremation Ghats on the Bagmati River in Kathmandu." While helping a Montessori teacher Susan spent a week helping poor Bhotia children at the Sri Mangel Dvip boarding school. Later 2 of the SMD teachers took Montessori training in Chennai, India (training)! Pictures and links from the boarding school here SMD

Swimming in Thaliand

In 2006 the first AMI Montessori 3-6 training began in Thailand and Susan was on the staff. This painting is from pictures taken while visiting a student's home at a Buddhist self-sustaining community. Information on training in Thailand can be found here: Thailand


This page was updated
on February 16, 2015


(right) Susan with at family wedding in 2006. There are now three more family

(left) Susan's home, office, and art studio in Trinidad, California

family in 2006