Born in Chicago, Susan Blackwood comes from six generations of artists. Both her parents and two sisters are artists as well. She remembers her first art lessons at the knee of her dad, oil and watercolor painter and sculptor David Swartwout. As for her formal education, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University and then continued 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 taught art and maintained an active studio having three solo exhibitions. Her works are in the collections of American Express, the French Consulate of Lahore/Pakistan, Anheuser-Busch, the Tucson Desert Museum, and many others.
It was primarily through the sales of her limited-edition reproductions, posters and cards that Susan’s work first became well-known in the 1980’s having appeared in more than 2,000 galleries world-wide. In 2010 Somerset Fine Art selected Blackwood to be a featured artist and began publishing giclees of her oil paintings of children.
Since 1975, Susan has earned recognition for her watercolors and taught in colleges and workshops across the country and abroad. Susan has led painting holidays to Europe with her husband, oil painter Howard Friedland OPAM AISM. They both have been featured in the Master Painters of the World section of the International Artist Magazine and other national art magazines in articles and on covers..
After 32 years as a watercolorist, in 2003 Susan added oil painting to her career. Her oils have been heartily received by patrons, galleries, and museum shows. In 2010 she received Best of Show at the American Women Artists National Juried Show in Dallas, Texas. In 2012 she was awarded Signature Membership in the prestigious Oil Painters of America. She is also a signature member of American Impressionist Society. She has been the featured speaker and demonstrator for many National and International Painting (oils and watercolors) for Conventions, in person and on-line. In 2020, Blackwood started teaching on-line Zoom classes in oils and in watercolors for artists all over the world. She has numerous teaching videos.
Choosing Art to be her passion and her career has given Susan a life she never could have dreamed of. Her web site is www.susanblackwood.com