"Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Down to Business

My new business card! I love having a memorable card to give to prospective collectors. I try to design it to be colorful,  representative of my current work and  style and to be - well, simply unforgettable! Its fun to hand them out at art show receptions, social events and serendipitous meetings. I create mine online at VistaPrint. At this site, you can  upload photos of your own and design your card exactly as you want it to be. I have ordered from them in the past and found the cards to be of very nice quality and the prices to be reasonable. This time, on a whim, I also ordered a few refridgerator magnets - I don't know why but  I sure hope I can find a use for them! In case you are interested, the link is: VistaPrint Business Cards.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tower of Piety - Sold

Painted about a year ago, this piece was inspired by a small carved wooden statue located in the Louvre. The carving dates from the 1500s if my memory is correct and has a painted surface which is in remarkably good condition. I was so taken by the beauty of the piece, the serenity of the faces and their rapt attention to the task at hand. The little carving begged to be painted! It is titled Tower of Piety and remains one of my favorites - 18x 24 oil on canvas. 
Merry Christmas to all who stop by my blog and linger for a moment or two - I hope your year is filled with joy. love, peace and original artwork!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa's Wild Ride!

My Santa made it onto the banner for the Foxhunting Life with Horse and Hound website this week! Thank you to Norman Fine for choosing my art for his incredible  site and thank you to Jeanne Chisholm for her unwavering support and belief in my art. Click here to go to the site.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sporting Art With Punch-Article by Norm Fine of FoxHunting Life

You can find the article here: http://www.foxhuntinglife.com/. Scroll down a bit to see - there is a slide show of some of my steelechase paintings. Unfortunately, you need a subscription to the site in order to see the entire article and the slide show! But please don't feel bad - I am not able to access it either and have only seen a copy of the article! Next week my Santa and his zebra will appear as the heading banner for the site! Many thanks to Jeanne Chisholm of Chisholm Gallery for  arranging this and to Norman Fine of FoxHunting Life for his wonderful article.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Multifaceted Approach - A Christmas Catalogue

Jeanne Chisholm of Chisholm Gallery introduced me to a new concept and assisted me in putting together a Christmas E-Blast. This is a brand new term for me! An e-blast consists of a PDF presentation that is attached to an email and sent by the gallery to potential collectors. The PDF presentation serves as a high quality photographic respresentation of the paintings - much like a brochure. I called mine A Multifaceted Approach as it contains an eclectic assortment of paintings in a variety of sizes as you can see here. Of course, Santa on his wild purple and golden zebra was on the cover! I wish I could have attached the actual PDF file but could not do that. Instead, I will show you individually each piece in the Christmas E-Blast presentation:

 Camel Rider 11x14
 Cheetahs 24x18
 Deyrolle Interior, Paris 20x16

Great Dane 16x12

 Hounds, 12x9

 Two Horses, 20x16

 T'ang Horse, 18x24

 Islay Wild Goat, 16x12

Trying to be Flexible in Uncertain Times 24x18

What fun this was! I find I am recently learning alot about the business of art. I never knew it was so complex! If anyone is interested in purchasing one of theses paintings, please contact Jeanne Chisholm at info@chisholmgallery.com
By the way, if you would like to see the actual e-blast, just send me an email and I will forward the PDF file to you by email. It is nicely printable as well!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trying to Be Flexible in Uncertain Times

This has been a year full of chaos and unpredictability for me so I though perhaps Santa might be finding thnigs a little different as well.  Oil on canvas 24 x 18. All comments are welcome.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Very Uplifting Thanksgiving Treat

Image by Norman Rockwell

Opera en Alto Palermo Libbiamo - click on link

 Happy Thanksgiving to all - may your day be filled with family and friends, wonderful food, stimulating conversation, glorious music, beautiful surroundings and joy, joy, joy!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quantum Poetry

Oh, I am loving the color in this - glorious color! The sky is a mixture of Winsor and Newton Vermilion (a pinkish red) and Rembrandt Vermilion ( an orange red) with buff titanium to lighten and a dash of white for good measure. This one  I have titled Quantum Poetry. 36x24 oli on stretched canvas. Please click on the photo to view it larger - I am sure you will enjoy it more!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Principle of Uncertainty - Finished

I added a few details, tweaked the shadows, added some warms and I am calling this done now. Oil on canvas panel 24 x 18

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Principle of Uncertainty

Continuing with my steeplechase series - my imagination is on fire from this subject! This one needs a few final adjustments yet but is close to being done. 24 x 18 oil on canvas.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Steeplechase Series - Quantum Leap

I have been working on re-writing my artists' statement as my  inner voice and my creative thinking have undergone a recent transformation. With paintbrush and canvas, with oil paint and a sense of unrestrained energy, I hope to evoke a sense of wonder and enchantment that transcends the subject and goes beyond the limit of human senses. My goal is to paint representations of nature that are harmonious and beautiful and, simultaneously, to engage the viewer in a reality that is beyond perceptual appearances and expectations.

I have always been inspired by horse and rider and the relationship between the power of the magnificent beast and the intellect of the rider. In my Steeplechase Series I have drawn upon this inspiration to paint dramatic, rhythmic renderings of an instant in time, in space and in emotional gravity. My desire is to move beyond the complexity of the subject alone and to advance toward a representation of that which is not perceived by the senses but is intellectually known. In my artistic eye, I am conceiving my subject not only as the harmony of horse and rider but as recognition of their connection to the intricately woven unseen forces of time and space.

I feel that I have moved a little closer to that goal with this painting and I would love to hear your reactions to it as you view it on my blog.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things My Father Loved - Surfcasting

My father taught me to surfcast in the Atlantic Ocean off the white sandy beaches of Long Beach Island when I was growing up. I have the best memories of those hot summer days.  In this painting I purposefully left the water rather raw and rough to focus on the figure and his place in time and space. Oil on canvas panel 24 x 18.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I would like to apologize to all those who like and follow my Blog for my recent absense and lack of consistent posts. I have been going through a time of upheaval in my personal life which has taken most of my time, my attention and all of the energies of my soul for several weeks. I am just now starting to feel the desire and driving need to paint again. I thank all of you for staying with me through this time and I look forward to showing you my new work as it is created both here and on my facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/San-Diego-CA/Susan-Smolensky-Fine-Art/106897502674692?v=wall

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feynmans Flight

Final adjustments made and I am considering Feynmans Flight done now.

I changed a few things and will add the suggestion of reins when the paint is dry and consider it done.
 36x24 oil on canvas.

Perhaps a few final tweaks and this will be done. I will put it away and take a look at it in a few days. I am trying to capture with paint and brushstrokes something that is beyond normal human perception. I am longing to show a connectedness of not only the objects, but of the moment in time to the unseen forces of the universe.  Complex objects are obeying the laws of nature as we perceive them while the tiny unseen objects of the universe are obeying quite a different set of rules.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Father

I have 3 sisters and I have always maintained that I am my father's favorite daughter - of course, all of my sisters feel exactly the same way. Perhaps that says something about the man who made each one of us feel so special.  He has always been interested in my paintings and occassionally sends me clippings from the Wall Street Journal regarding the state of art in the world today. He thinks I charge way too little for my work and  constantly encourages me to raise my prices several 100%. There is nothing more delightful than to have a supporter like that to lend encouragement. He is so dear to me and I do remain convinced that, secretly, I am his favorite daughter!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tiger Gourd and Mozart

This little gourd caught my eye. Its called a Tiger Gourd and it was love at first sight. A few sycamore leaves from my backyard completed the still life set up. As I painted today, I filled my studio with the violin of  Isaac Stern playing Mozart: Violin Concertos. The CD is 70 minutes long and I placed the last brush stroke as the final note faded away - as it turned out, in this painting, I think of each stroke of paint as being equivalent to a musical note. That makes me happy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

American Impressionist Society 11th National Exhibition

Shipped my painting After the Race off to the American Impressionist Society Show in  Nashville, TN. I am so delighted to be included in a show that is billed as "a collection of some of the finest American Impressionists of our time". I love that! The hosting gallery is Richland Fine Art and the judge is CW Mundy. I can only imagine how exciting this show is going to be!
I wish I could go as I would love to see the show, attend the events and participate in one of the workshops that are offered to AIS members but life responsibilities here in San Diego prevent me from doing so. I am hoping there will be another time.

Friday, September 17, 2010

American Art Collector Magazine

Be sure to check out page 95 in the October issue of American Art Collector magazine. My painting  group 10 Everyday Painters  has a beautiful full page ad! I am so thrilled to be part of this wonderful group. Here is the link to our web page in case you missed it: http://teneverydaypainters.com/

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Running With Horses

Sometimes I dream of running with horses. 20 x 16 oil on canvas panel.

Copy of Gauguin and Degas Portraits

I learn a lot from copying the masters - it gives me an insight into what their processes might have been, it allows me to see color through their eyes and I almost always have one or two "Ah ha!" moments - and those moments make it very worth the time and effort.
This is a 16 x12 copy of the self portrait that Gauguin did to exchange with Van Gogh when they lived in the Yellow House and painted together in Arles for a short time. The use of color in this portrait is astounding . Here is a link where you can see the original http://www.artcyclopedia.com/Gauguin-LesMiserables.html.
 I also recently copied Edgar Degas portrait of his brother in law Albert Melida. I did this one from a photo reproduction in a book - the original is in Paris, I believe in the Musee d'Orsey.  The color in this portrait also fascinated me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

StrongBox for Shipping to the American Impressionist Society Show

I am getting ready to ship my painting "After the Race" to Nashville for the American Impressionist Society Show at the Richland Fine Art Gallery. The prospectus encourages use of the  AirFloat Strong Box for packing and shipping. It's a special cardboard box made expressly for shipping framed artwork. I first became familiar with this box last month when I helped repack and ship back some of the art work from the Women Artists of the West show. This box opens up like a book and the framed piece is gently nestled amongst layers of cushiony foam. The box is taped shut and the packing is done. It seems like a good investment as the box can be used over and over again. The link to the site is http://airfloatsys.com/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1 and I have attached a photo of the box. My box arrived today. It came shrink wrapped in plastic which made sense and was easily cut away. I measured the dimensions of my framed painting and popped out the corrugated foam area. The painting slipped in perfectly and I can't imagine it being more safe for its journey to the east coast. You can get puncture proof panels on the inside of the box for extra protection as well. My box does not have those in the interest of keeping the cost down. I purchased a box bigger than what I need for this 24 x 12 piece so that I can use it for larger paintings in the future. How is that for positive thinking!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Trying something a little different - I like how the spectators appear in silouette with backlighting in the foreground.  I dont know how the horses became so green but here they are and I must admit I am charmed by them!  24 x 18 oil on canvas panel.

Monday, August 30, 2010

On the Road to Glasgow and Update on John and Tilly

My life has changed a bit and I have not been able to paint the last couple of weeks so thought I would post an older painting. This one was shown at the Scottsdale Best and Brightest Show and sold before the show even opened! I was so thrilled and it remains one of my favorites. It is 16x20 oil on canvas. I hope to get back to my routine of painting every day as soon as I can.
My friend Gwen in Great Britian recieved the painting of John and Tilly that I posted here on my blog a few weeks ago.  I had shipped it to her as a surprise birthday gift and she was thrilled! Her comment was something like she is "over the moon"! As a surprise return birthday gift to me, she sent me a copy of a book she has written but not yet published called "Wave Me Goodbye". I intend to curl up with it over Labor Day weekend - and now I, too, am over the moon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Cousin Audre

This is a casual portrait of my cousin Audre. Audre has the most delicate pale skin which is framed by her gorgeous black hair. She has remarkable beauty. I painted this portait cropped from a photo of Audre sitting at a table in a restaurant near Lake Tahoe watching the antics of her 5 month old grandaughter. I loved the complexity of the light and shadow over the contours of her face, the hint of an adoring smile and the beautiful colors. This was done alla prima in about 3 hours this afternoon.
I used an unusual palette - thalo green, alizarin crimson, cobalt blue, white, a tiny bit of sienna and a tiny bit of umber - not a usual portrait palette at all. I love the black that is made from thalo, alizarin and blue - it is so deep and infinite - like looking into deep space.
If you click on the painting, it will enlarge and you can get a better look at it - aren't computers wonderful?!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Final Approach

I have been in a real slump this past week or so. Work has taken a lot out of me and I have not been able to do even a successful study. I finally finished this one today - I had started it over a week ago and just let it sit on the easel through my doldrums. It always amazes me how vulnerable my creative spirit is to external factors, stress in particular. This one is 24 x 18 oil on Blick canvas panel. These Blick panels are just wonderful - the canvas has a nice medium texture that grabs the paint and the panel itself is substantial and of good quality. Also, they dont break the bank and are perfect for me to paint on right now.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I dont have a definite title for this one yet. Its the biggest in my steeplechase series at 36x24. Borrowing a quote from the recent Phil Levine Newsletter at www.paintingfrance.com. "Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye......it also includes the inner pictures of the soul" Edvard Munch.

American Impressionist Society

Accepted! This painting was juried into the American Impressionist Society 11th National Juried Exhibition. It is being held at Richland Fine Art Gallery in Nashville, TN in October. This painting was done from a photo I took late one afternoon at the Del mar Racetrack here in San Diego, CA. It also recently won the Jurors Award at the Women Artists of the West show awarded by Peggy Kroll Roberts. I am so thrilled to participate in the AIS show this year! Here is a link to the AIS site where you can find a list of accepted artists: http://www.americanimpressionistsociety.org/

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

John and Tilly

Gwen and her husband John have been my friends for a very long time - actually since Gwen and I were 10 years old. They are Scottish but are now living in England. Recently Gwen and John rescued Tilly from their local pound and she immediately wedged her way into their home and their hearts. This photo was taken one day just after John and Tilly had exhausted each other with the big red ball in the backyard. I just love the story this photo tells, the color and the composition so I immediately reached for a canvas and painted the scene. The painting is 18x24 oil on canvas. Today I shipped it oveseas to Gwen for her August birthday. It will be a complete surprise and I can hardly wait to hear her reaction. I sure hope she (and John and Tilly) like it!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Toulouse Lautrec at the San Diego Museum of Art

I spent a recent afternoon with 100 works by Toulouse Lautrec at the San Diego Museum of Art. He has always been a favorite of mine but I came away with renewed appreciation for his work. There are two incredibly beautiful oils in the collection - one on canvas of a night scene with figures that I had never seen anywhere and an oil on board of a nude lady on a disheveled bed - the layers and subtlety of color were so awesome. But I was very taken by the small delicate pencil and crayon drawings - they seemed so spontaneous and honest. I could easily imagine Lautrec sitting at a table in the Moulin Rouge doing these quick sketches. I have included two examples of his work. The horse and jockey has been a forever favorite of mine and I was thrilled to see it in person. I must say that I came away so inspired and have begun working on a large steeplechase painting in my studio. I find it refreshing and renewing to surround myself with the work of the masters every now and then, either through books or museum visits like this. It was an unforgettable exhibit and I highly recommend it if you are in San Diego. Here is a link to the museum site: www.sdma.balboaparkonline.org/art/exhibit/toulouse-lautrecs-paris

Serendipitously, recently I did several paintings of Lautrec. The first shows him asleep in a lawn chair at his mother's home in France, Malrome Chateau. It was done using a black and white photograph as a reference taken in 1900/1901 shortly before his death. The other is called The Artist and His Muse and is 36x24. I cropped it to show Lautrec in his studio in front of his own painting In the Salon of the Rue des Moulins (1894) with his model Mireille. She is the main subject of his painting and can be seen sitting on the salon sofa with her knee drawn up. The entire uncropped version can be seen on my website in the Figurative Gallery http://www.susansmolenskyfineart.com/ . This one was also done from a black and white photo taken around the time his painting was completed in 1894.

Workshop Figure Male

I decided to post a crop of the male online challenge figure since he was mentioned in a comment on the Pink Lady yesterday. If you would like to see the entire figure, you will find him in the Figurative Gallery on my website at http://www.susansmolenskyfineart.com/. The part I like best about this figure are his feet, so be sure to check them out!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sold! Figure Study - Pink Lady

This was done from a photo challenge in an online workshop. Its a figure of a large nude woman on her hands and knees but I cropped it for my blog in order to just show the face. The original is 12x12 oil on canvas panel. There was something so compelling about this pose and the challenge of painting so much flesh. The pink background kindof decided itself and I think it worked! I am posting this study today because I recently sold this piece to another artist whom I respect incredibly. Thank you, Kevin! By the way, if you would like to see Pink Lady in all her glory, you will find her on my website in the Figurative Gallery http://www.susansmolenskyfineart.com/

Monday, July 5, 2010

Touch Down

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures." Henry Ward Beecher
Back to the steeplechase subject. This one is 10x20 oil on canvas panel. I decided to play with color today and this is what it led to.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Monster - all 3 pounds of her.

Meet Monster, my daughter and son in laws new yorkshire terrier puppy. She is the cutest thing I have ever seen and loves everybody and everything! I can't believe they named her Monster - she is anything but!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sumo Wrestlers

Something a little different - but maybe not so much. My steeplechase paintings attempt to suspend a moment of great motion, energy and intense physical presence while maintaining the connection between man and beast, even emphasizing it. This little study attempts to do the same between men of immense power and determination.

Friday, July 2, 2010

10 Everyday Painters

I am honored to have been invited to participate with a group of artists who are not only very accomplished, but who I admire and respect. We call this group 10 Everyday Painters and our mission and philosophy is this:

Ten American painters...working outdoors and in studios on both coasts and points in between. By coming together in this joint display of their work, these ten artists offer a look at the diversity of realist/impressionist painting in America today.

Their backgrounds are as diverse as their art. most of them, while harbouring a lifelong interest in art, spent years in other professions before turning to painting fulltime. They have all, over time and through dedication to their craft, developed a uniquely personal approach to their art.

I invite you to follow the link to read more and to experience the exceptional artwork of this dedicated group. http://teneverydaypainters.com/