Susan Blackwood OPA

Susan Blackwood OPA Headshot

Susan Blackwood OPA

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. 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, 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. 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.

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.

Selected Awards and Honors from over 50 Awards
For Complete list of Awards – Click Here

  • Awarded Signature Member in Oil Painters of America
  • Best of Show American Women Artists National Juried Exhibition – Southwest Gallery, Dallas, Texas
  • Best of Show Womanart West – Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Best of Show Tucson Art, Tucson, Arizona
  • Best of Show Vail Art, Vail, Colorado
  • Best of Show Boulder Art, Boulder, Colorado
  • Best of Show, Castle Rock Art, Colorado
  • Artist of the Year, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Most Outstanding Professional Artists – Diamond Jubilee Award of Excellence – Coors, Boulder, Colorado
  • Artist of Choice National Award – Professional Picture Framers of America
  • Patron Purchase Award – 5 State Exhibition – Kansas Watercolor Society
  • Purchase Award –  Summerart – Steamboat Springs Cultural Center, Colorado
  • Purchase Award – Grand Junction Arts, Colorado
  • Juries Top 50 Award Winner 2010, 2008, 2007, 2004 Salon International Exhibition
    International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art, San Antonio, Texas
  • Featured Artist for Southwest Art Magazine Sweepstakes Dec. 15 , 2010 – Jan. 15, 2011

Selected Shows / National Exibitions from over 200 Shows
For a complete list – Click Here

  • American Women Artists Juried National Exhibitions
  • Oil Painters of America Exhibitions
  • Oil Painters of America Western Regional Shows
  • Salon International Exhibitions
  • American Impressionist Society Exhibitions
  • Masters in Miniature – CM Russell Museum
  • CM Russell Auction, CM Russell Museum
  • Night of the Artists – Briscoe Western Musem, San Antonio, Texas
  • Rhode Island Watercolor Society -12 Annual National Watercolor Show, RI
  • Arizona Watercolor Juried Exhibition
  • Women Artists of the West Juried National Show
  • Solo Exhibtion – Sikeston Cultural Museum, Missouri
  • One Person Show –1976, 1977, 1978, 1992 Lahore, Pakistan
  • Watercolor Wyoming XVIII
  • International Watermedia XIII. Colorado Springs, CO
  • Open Water 77 – Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolors, Canada
  • Impressions of Vence – Matisse Cultural Center, Vence, Provence, France
  • Kansas Watercolor Society – 5 State Exhibition
  • Catherine Lorilard Wolf Annual Exhibition, New York, NY
  • Aqeus Open Noational Juried Show – Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, PA
  • Watercolor USA National Juried Exhibition
  • Three Generations – Tulsa University OK
  • Womanart West

Professional Credits

  • Signature Member of Oil Painters of America Member
  • Vice President and Founding member of Montana Painters Alliance
  • Featured Artist for Somerset Fine Art Publishing
  • Featured Artist for Red Cross
  • Signature Member of  Montana Watercolor Society
  • Artist of the Year – Big Brothers and Sisters
  • Mural Artist for the French Consulate of Lahore, Pakistan
  • Illustrator for Family Planning Bureau of Pakistan
  • Member of American Impressionists Society
  • Member of National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society

Selected Publications – for a more complete list – Click Here 

  • Southwest Art Magazine – The Portfolio /The Good Guys- January 2011
  • Southwest Art Magazine – Family Ties – November 2011
  • Southwest Art Magazine Sweepstakes – Featured Artist – Dec. 15, 2010- Jan. 15, 2011
  • Somerset Fine Art Publishers – series of 9 giclees of paintings of children
  • Art of the West – March/April issue 2010 – The Studio
  • American Artists Magazine – Studio – Ideal 2009
  • American Art Collector – May 2009 – From the Heart”
  • Southwest Art Magazine–May 2009-Best of the West
  • Southwest Art Magazine – Artist to Watch – April 2005
  • Expressions of Spirit – Home Magazine, February 2007
  • Venice – Stone, Water, Color and Light – American Artists Magazine July 1999
  • Master Painters of the World – Internationals Artist Magazine April 1999
  • North Light Publications – Best of Flower Painting by Katherine Kipp
  • Wildlife Art News
  • Medici Society of London, England
  • US Art Magazine
  • National Audubon Society
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Alliance
  • Southwest Art Magazine Engagement Calendar
  • Cover of  Outdoor Magazine
  • Cover of Woolgrowers Magazine

Selected Workshops that I have Taught in Oils, Watercolors and Drawing
I have taught all over the world and this country and I love to teach. Helping the artist find their voice in any medium is a thrill beyond words.This is just a small list of the many classes and workshops that I have taught since 1975.

  • Painting Workshops in France Workshop 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2001, 1998, 1996
  • Painting Workshops in England 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
  • Painting Workshop in Vence, Italy 1998
  • Painting Workshop in Bahamas 1992
  • Permanent Staff Instructor Watercolors  Loveland Academy of Fine Art, CO 1990 – 1992
  • Permanent Staff Art Instructor for the Northwestern Community College, Craig, CO 1978 – 84
  • Permanent Staff Art Instructor for the Lahore American School, Lahore, Pakistan 1975 – 1978

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