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.

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

• Represented by Seaside Gallery, Pismo Beach, CA; J Watson Gallery, Valencia, CA ,Southwest Roundup Gallery, San Juan Bautista, CA
• Will be "Featured Artist at 2018 Cattlemen's Art Show in Paso Robles, CA
• Sold over 600 stone paintings in the past 12 years.
• Private collectors in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Shanghai, Canada and most US states.
• Recent commission – Three large paintings for the lobby of Paso Robles Inn, CA
• Illustrated 20 horse breeds for the multi-million dollar, Kentucky Horse
Park in Lexington, KY (Chosen from artists across the U.S.).
• 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. The
winning painting was sold during the show.
• 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.
• Contracted with Applejack Art Partners for prints and licensed art.
• Leanin' Tree Card Company featured my work on twelve greeting cards,
tee shirts and various products.
• One man shows: Golden Gate Fields, Berkeley, CA, The Gallery,
Georgetown, CA, Sunset Oaks Gallery, Auburn, 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.

Goals

Art is an all-consuming interest for me. I look for ways to creatively express my love of natural beauty. I want the stone to provide part of the viewer’s
experience, I add add paint and the viewer contributes to the final experience. When successful there is a treasured “Ah Ha” moment.

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. On going figure drawing and Plein Air groups. Constantly study
art books, other artist’s work and nature.

Stone Paintings

A horseback tour in Spain insprired 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.

Commissions

Completed over 275 commissioned works in charcoal, pastel and oil. I work well with project requirements and schedules.

Magazine and newspaper appearances

Artist’s Magazine, California Horse Review (many covers), Pacific Coast
Journal (cover), Western Horseman, Southwest Art, Art of the West, Appaloosa Horse News, Chronicle of the Horse, Arabian Horse World, Inside International, Paint Horse Journal (cover) and many other publications. Ten page article in the Fall, '90 issue of Equine Images Magazine. 2001 cover of Horse of Kings. Wrote and illustrated an article on my recent painting trip to Spain for Horse and Rider Magazine, May 2002. Article in Wildlife Art News, Spring, 2007. “Artist to Watch”, Western Art and Architecture, Fall/Winter 2011

Personal

Married to Keith who has a B.A. in Art from UC Berkeley. He is a software engineer and designer 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 our home. We have two daughters and two grandaughters.