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Suzie Black: Moving to the future

Shea Stanfield~ 1/14/2015

SCOTTSDALE – Not often a visitor to an exhibit or show of fine art gets the chance to see such variety in an artist’s work. What fun was in store for the visitor that met local artist Suzie Black during the recent Hidden In The Hills Studio Tour at the Harmon Studios in North Scottsdale. Instantly you are taken with the variety of line, imaginative use of space, and the kaleidoscope of color that bounced off the surface of each canvas. As Suzie walks her visitors through her artistic journey, they observe the meticulous details, expansive stretches of color pushing objects beyond their surface and finally that popped an “oh WOW” in response to the continuing intricacy in her work.

No surprise this gutsy “out there” artist grew up in a New Jersey suburb minutes from Manhattan. A daughter of a successful interior designer and painter, Suzie was used to looking at colors, designs, interiors, and canvases that challenged the edge on contemporary comfort levels. Conversations about art with her mother were part of Suzie’s earliest memories. Finally, when Suzie was a senior in high school, she found herself “home alone” and made the bold move into her mother’s studio.  With brushes in hand and oils spread out on a palette, she went to work on her first canvas. A star was born…Suzie presented her painting as her final project for senior humanities class. The painting was met with such enthusiasm that her parents hug it in their home for the next 30 years, and Suzie was off on her art career.

After high school, Suzie was off to George Washington University and the Corcoran School of Art. She received advanced degrees in both Art Therapy and Art Education.  Her artistic heroes became the likes of van Gogh, Schiele, Diebenkorn, Matisse, and Gauguin.  Suzie grew fascinated by art therapy and the psychology behind expressing emotions and telling the stories of our “hidden selves” through art.  This has lead to a 40-year adventure in the exploration of color and form. 

When asked how she sees herself expanding, Suzie replies, “My expansion is here and now in the form of larger works. I’m looking toward more mysterious subject matter to lead the viewer into the painting. I will be introducing figures in my work that are not quite realistic, but work with the composition of abstract expressionism. I intend on heading back to the Scottsdale Artist School to be part of the Academy program for an intensive study on the human figure. I believe in the importance of study to further your art.”  Suzie is also turning her attention to gallery representation as well.

Suzie is also part of the “study process” as a teacher. She creates in her home studio in Scottsdale, which she calls her “artist loft.” Once a week, she teaches art classes in her studio to help others realize their dreams and aspirations to paint. Suzie teaches a class at Arizona Art Supply once a month, and beginning this winter, she will be teaching classes and offering workshops at Terravita, in North Scottsdale. Recently, Suzie was accepted into Xanadu Gallery on Main Street in Scottsdale.

To see more of Suzie Black’s work, sign up for her classes, or visit her studio, see her Web site at

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at