Susan is an internationally known artist of horses, wildlife and people. Crazy about horses and wild about art she started painting and drawing horses at a young age and went on to receive a BS degree from the University of Colorado in Zoology and Art.

She paints in oils on canvas and archivally prepared natural stone that inspire her with their patterns and textures. When she finds a special stone she creates a painting suggested by the stone that teases the viewer into supplying the details.

Taking suggestions from years of painting on stone, Susan also works in oil on canvas and follows where her imagination takes her. These paintings are layered, complex, often suggesting deeper meanings. Her lifelong involvement with nature guides her hand.

Susan's work has been featured in many magazines as well as on their covers. She paints full-time at her Davis studio and welcomes visitors

Susan won the Peoples's Choice Award at the 2012 Cattlemen's Western Art Show and at the 2013 San Dimas Festival of the Arts..

Susan von Borstel painting

After being chosen to illustrate the horse breeds for the multimillion dollar Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, she went on to join the American Academy of Equine Art and won the People's Choice Award in the AAEA annual art show. She won first place for oil paintings at the Western States Horse Expo in 1999 and 2000. She has since judged that show several times.

Susan's work has appeared on numerous magazine covers, in magazine articles and at many art galleries. She works full time in her studio in Davis, California.

 

 

"Painting is great fun!"

I've always loved to paint. Hours go by quickly when I'm lost in a project and I often wish there was more time.

Several years ago, while riding horses with a group in Southern Spain I became intrigued by the patterns in old stone walls and walkways. Like seeing images in clouds I began imagining images of horses, animals and scenes in these old worn stones.

I worked with several chemists to develop an archival process for painting on stone, whether very hard like granite and marble or softer like onyx, travertine or slate. After working on a way to make them hangable, I took five to an art show and they all sold while I was hanging them. I've been creating them with great joy ever since.

Since the patterns in stone often suggest animals in unusual positions I use my "artist's license" to distort or smplify them so they aren't photographic but work with the stone's unique texture and pattern. It seems our subconscious minds enjoy filling in the details of paintings. Like children, we want to discover things for ourselves. For me the stone's patterns are always inspiring new ideas.

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Major Accomplishments

Featured Artist, 2018 Cattlemen's Art Show, Paso Robles, CA
Sold over 600 paintings in the past 14 years on both natural stone and canvas.
Private collectors in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Shanghai, Canada and most US states.
Recent commission – Three large paintings, lobby of Paso Robles Inn, CA
Won People’s Choice - San Dimas Festival of the Arts, San Dimas, 2013
Won Most Popular Vote – Cattlemen’s Art Show, Paso Robles, CA 2012
Won Most Popular Vote - American Academy of Equine Artists juried show at the Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, KY, l987.
Won 1st, Oil, Western States Horse Expo, Sacramento, CA 1999
Won Best of Show, 1st Acrylic, 1st Drawing - Sierra Western Art Show, Auburn, CA.
Won 1st Pastel, The Art Classic, Nevada City, CA,1999. Judged show in 2000.
2004-2010 Cattlemen’s Invitational Art Show, Paso Robles, CA., Top sellers
2006-2010 Peppertree Art Show, Santa Ynez, CA., Top sellers
Judged art show at Horse Expo, Cal Expo, Sacramento, 2006 and 2007.
Sold out three of seven limited editions.
Leanin' Tree Card Company featured my work on twelve greeting cards, tee shirts and various products.
One man shows: Golden Gate Fields, Berkeley, CA, Sunset Oaks Gallery, Auburn, CA, Blue Wing Gallery, Woodland, CA
Related activities - Taught K-12 art classes while directing an art grant for the California Arts Council (one year).
Taught adult drawing and photography classes.

Education

B.S. degree in Zoology and Art from the University of Colorado. Additional art Classes at San Francisco State University, Chico State University and Sierra College. Constantly study other artist’s work and nature’s surprises.

Paintings on canvas or panel

Representing movement, time are my compelling interest on canvas or panel.

Stone Paintings

A horseback tour in Spain inspired my love of stone with it’s patterns and textures. I am now creating oil paintings on various natural quarried stone, sized 12” x 12” to full 3’ x 4’+ slabs. Marble, granite, travertine and slate from quarries around the world provide exciting patterns that suggest the subjects I paint. The stones are treated archivally so the paint is permanent. They are mounted and ready to hang.

Illustration

I have illustrated projects for various companies, groups, magazines, ad agencies and the State of Kentucky.

Media

Many magazine articles, covers and “Artist to Watch” listings.

Personal

Married to Keith who has a B.A. in Art from UC Berkeley. He is a software engineer and programmer and helps me a great deal with all phases of my work.

We live in Davis, CA where I have a studio across town from out home. We have two daughters and two granddaughters who love to draw.