Susan Blackwood was born Chicago and comes from 6 generations of artists. Her family history has been dated back to Rembrandt's parents. Her first art instructions were at the knee of her dad, oil and watercolor painter and sculptor David Swartwout. She received her BFA from Northern Illinois University and extended her watercolor studies with Irving Shapiro.
Susan has taught in colleges and workshops around the country and overseas. A partial list of her publishers include the National Audubon Society, the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Alliance, and the Big Brothers Association. She makes her home in Bozeman with husband and artist Howard Friedland.