About Me

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.

Taking suggestions from years of painting on stone, Susan now works exclusively in oil on canvas or panel 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.

Please contact me by email


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.

1019 - First prize, 20/20 Exhibit, Kennedy Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2018 Featured Artist, Cattlemen's Art Show, Paso Robles, CA

2018 Blue Wing Gallery, Woodland, CA

2013 Won People’s Choice - San Dimas Festival of the Arts, San Dimas, CA

2012 Won Most Popular Vote – Cattlemen’s Art Show, Paso Robles, CA

2010 Three large paintings, lobby of Paso Robles Inn, CA

2006 - 2010 Peppertree Art Show, Santa Ynez, CA., Top sellers

2006 and 2007 Judged art show at Horse Expo, Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA

2004 - 2010 Cattlemen’s Invitational Art Show, Paso Robles, CA., Top sellers

2000 Judged The Art Classic, Nevada City, CA

1999 Won 1st, Oil, Western States Horse Expo, Sacramento, CA

1999 Won 1st Pastel, The Art Classic, Nevada City, CA.

1998 Taught K-12 art classes while directing an art grant for the California Arts Council

1987 Won Most Popular Vote - American Academy of Equine Artists juried show at the Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville, KY.

Won Best of Show, 1st Acrylic, 1st Drawing - Sierra Western Art Show, Auburn, CA.

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,

Taught adult drawing and photography classes.


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.


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


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


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. We have two daughters and a granddaughter and a grandson who all love to draw.