“The realism and the love behind Susan von Borstel’s artwork is amazing. You can just feel the life pop out of the animals. When you look into the horse’s eyes; you can see what the horse is thinking,” remarks Dee Pellandini, Director of the 2018 Cattlemen’s Western Art Show and Sale – the biggest Western Art show on the West Coast.
One of Susan’s horse paintings was among the first art pieces Dee purchased when she was just learning about western art. “You fall in love with the life she captures. Her art is just that way.”
Oil on Canvas and Stone Paintings
Oil on canvas paintings and stone paintings are the primary mediums Susan von Borstel employs. She has been focusing on stone for a while and is well-known for the simple, natural beauty of her stone pieces. “I look for stone treasures which have a picture suggested in them,” says Susan as she describes her stone paintings. “The final piece is 1/3 the beauty of the animal, 1/3 the beauty of the stone, and 1/3 the beauty experienced by the person viewing the piece. I let the natural pattern present in the stone tell me the picture.”
Susan has returned to painting on canvas where she can use so many colors, opposed to the neutral palette the stones require. “My brain has to go in a different direction!” she remarked. Earlier in her career she was chosen to illustrate the twenty horse breeds for the Kentucky Horse Park, which are enjoyed by the many visitors to the multimillion dollar park.
Now my artwork allows me to experience ‘horseness’. I learn from them as I spend time allowing them to teach me. They have a lot to teach us and their ‘horseness’ is now captured in my paintings.”
Riding in Spain on Andalusians, Susan took note of the stones in the walls, in monasteries, in the old houses and kept seeing pictures in the old worn stones. She then perfected the process for preserving the paint on all types of stone and has enjoyed creating this art form.
When asked why Susan feels art is important in our lives she responded with, “It opens a part of our brains that is key for humanity to get along with others. Art makes you aware of others and draws attention to the beauty of nature. Humanity needs to have connection with art in order to get along with each other. It helps us love.”
Come Meet Susan von Borstel at the Cattlemen’s Western Art Show and Sale
The event opens with a big party – The Artist’s Reception – on Friday night April 6, 5-9:00 pm at the Paso Robles Event Center. Nearly 50 Artists will be on hand to discuss their work as the San Luis Obispo Cattlemen’s Association barbeques some tasty hors d’oeuvres and several local wineries (Ancient Peaks and Vintage Cowboy will be among them) pour tastes of their delights. Cost to attend the Friday night Artist’s Reception is $20.00 at the door.
The show and sale continues Saturday, April 7 10:00-5:00 and Sunday, April 8 10:00-3:00 as the Western artwork remains on display and for purchase. A Santa Maria style BBQ lunch cooked up by the Cattlemen’s Association will be available for $10.00 a plate both weekend days.
Photos: Courtesy of Susan von Borstel