Susan Blackwood Biography
Pakistan 1975: in the midst of a clambering market place, unable to speak
the language....I became aware of the importance of the common bonds that
universally unite us all. The necessity to communicate these visions,
feelings and emotions became paramount. Art became my language.
I have chosen as my subject matter the simple, beautiful, touching moments
that are common both in nature and in the life of every person. These are
the moments that often pass without notice and are the very ones that lend
continuity to our lives and contribute to its richness and depth. These
moments are the language I use when I paint.
As in any meaningful conversation, the structure of the message must be
clear. Thus, color, brush strokes, textures and composition is carefully
chosen, like essential words, to convey to the viewer the message that I
wish to impart. My studies of classical art techniques began when I was a
child and will always continue as I strive for better clarity and higher
achievement. Through the medium that I have chosen, I strive continually
to develop a rich and colorful language that can reach the heart.
Born in Chicago, Susan Blackwood comes from six generations of artists. Her
family history has been dated back to Rembrandt's parents. Both of her own
parents and her two sisters are artists. She remembers her first art
instructions were at the knee of her dad, oil and watercolor painter and
David Swartwout. As for her formal education She received her Bachelors of
Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University. In 1982 Susan extended her
watercolor studies with Irving Shapiro at the American Academy of Art in
Chicago. She has traveled and painted extensively, including three years in
Pakistan where she maintained and active studio and had three solo
exhibitions. Her works are in the collections of American Express, and the
French Consulate of Lahore, Pakistan Anheuser Bush, the Tucson Desert
Museum and many others.
It was primarily through her limited edition reproductions, posters and
cards that became popular in the late 1980's that sold nationally and
internationally that Blackwood first become well-known. They have appeared
in more than 2,000 galleries world-wide.
Since 1975, Blackwood has taught watercolors in colleges and workshops
around the country, overseas in Pakistan, the Bahamas, Great Britain,
France and Italy. Susan has lead painting holidays to Europe with her
husband, oil painter Howard Friedland . They both have been featured in the
Master Painters of the World section of the International Artist Magazine.
After 32 years as a watercolorist, in 2003 Susan switched to oil painting.
She now paints almost exclusively in oils. Her oils have been heartily
received by patrons, galleries and museum shows. Her work has been seen in
Southwest Art Magazine, U.S. Art Magazine, and Wildlife Art News. A partial
list of her publishers include the National Audubon Society, the Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome Alliance, the Big Brothers Association, National
Riflemen's association, North Light Publishers-(Best of Flower Painting by
Katherine Kipp) and Medici Society Ltd. of London, England. Watercolor
Magazine featured an article about Susan's paintings in 1999. Her originals
have been exhibited in galleries in England and all over the U.S. in
National Shows and galleries. The recipient of numerous awards, currently
her paintings are in 5 galleries in the U.S., in addition to both museum
and corporate collections.
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