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 sculptor,
David Swartwout. (Please Click on David Swartwout's name to see his paintings and read about his life.) 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 an active studio and had three solo exhibitions. Her works are in the collections of American Express, 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. In 2010 Somerset Fine Art selected Blackwood to be a featured artist and began publishing giclees of her oil paintings of children.
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, Susan switched to oil painting in 2003. She now paints almost exclusively in oils. 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 SignatureMembership in the prestegious organizations
Oil Painters of America .
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.