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Suzanne Kendall Osborne

Paintings & Illustrations

Artist’s Statement

Limner Self PortratiI’m a 3rd generation San Franciscan, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland and Concord, CA). My surroundings have always had a big impact on me. I played on the biomorphic shaped playground equipment commissioned for childrens playgrounds by local artists in the mid-century in Oakland and Berkeley. And the local art museums and historic homes, arts & crafts era buildings, and architectural landmarks that my Mom took me to weren’t always appreciated at the time, but are now big influences on my work. At San Francisco State University I studied Painting under Bay Area Figurative Movement Painter Robert Bechtle, and Surrealist Painter Paul Pratchenko, both of whom influenced the work that I currently do.

I also am influenced by American Colonial “primitive” artists depicting the world around them in a way that told you about the values of the people being portrayed. Even if you don’t agree with their values, there is a lack of false modesy and an honestly about these paintings that I find refreshing. They are saying “This is what I own. I’ve earned it. I want to show it off.” Heads are larger, feet are smaller. Because heads are more important. Feet are not. I share their lack of concern about being anatomically correct. I am also influenced by the ashcan school artists, modern era illustrators like Charley Harper and the surrealists. I strive to paint in a way that is honest and frank and not emotionally manipulative.

I paint oil on wood with brushes and palette knives. I enjoy not only the way that oil looks on wood, but the way that it feels. It feels solid and real to me. Although I work primarily in oil on wood, I also illustrate with watercolor, pen & ink, and dabble with printmaking.

Currently I am working on a series of small paintings of houses in the Daly City and San Francisco area. During the housing crisis in the United States, the Bay Area went through a particularly strange period where these once laughed-at boxy little (“ticky tacky”) homes became extremely valuable and highly sought after. I found these houses to be a great metaphor for life in California in general.

I hope that you enjoy my work.

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