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 and active studio and had three solo exhibitions. Her works are in the collections of American Express, and 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. 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.