Mediums: I draw and paint in pastel, charcoal, graphite pencil and pen and ink. My studio work is oil and acrylic.
I was trained in non objective abstract expressionism at the Cooper Union Institute for Art and Engineering in New York.
I moved to northern Canada from New York City. There I was a caretaker of a property with 2 log cabins on the Yukon River between Whitehorse and Dawson City. There were three sled dogs, a cat and many wild animals in the area, like wolves, moose and owls.
I taught art in nightschool in Whitehorse. Later when I moved to California, I obtained a life time certificate to teach art to adults in Community College. For the past five years I have been an art instructor for seniors in residence homes. It has been very rewarding and inspiring to see men and women who are upwards of 80 years, who didn't think they could draw to turn out very accomplished and interesting art works. In some cases it has increased the self esteem and helped people to socialize more in that residence setting.
I painted jazz musicians as they performed and from photos, in a small setting in Santa Barbara, CA. I was hired by the well known jazz historian, Ted Gioia, to illustrate for articles written about jazz musicians on www.jazz.com Please see the site at www.jazz.com/gallery/suzanne-cerny/
At the present time I am painting on 4 to 6 foot canvases depicting the conceptions of a musician who likes mythology and legend. This collaboration allows me to share my technical knowledge while imparting certain principles to the creator of the designs. I test out different mediums, and create layers of underpainting.
I moved from portraits to landscapes when I lived in Santa Barbara, CA, because there is a large group of painters there who only paint the central coast landscapes. They raise money through art sales to benefit environmental work in the area. This group is called the O.A.K. Group. There are many wild oak trees in the California hills. But their acronym stands for Open Air Klub. Something in that order anyway. I studied with painters Ray Strong and Michael Drury, founders of the Group. It was in Santa Barbara that I sketched in a small storefront jazz club, and created a collection that I would now like to sell because I would like it to be kept together as a collection.
My most recent mural was for a middle school in Richmond, CA. My mural history is long. I created a design for a City Hall mural depicting the History of the Klondike for the Whitehorse City Hall in 1967. This was a $5,000 prize for a contest. At that time I was working as a typist for the Yukon Daily News. The bid for the mural artist was open and I applied at the urging of the editor of the Newspaper. I created the design for a wood relief mural, and a local cabinet maker helped me to execute it.
in Lompoc, California, I designed The History of the Blacksmith Shop. This was also a prize winning situation where the annual Harvest Festival event sought a master muralist to paint the theme that was chosen for the year. In Santa Barbara I was becoming known for murals, and so I also painted one for the offshore Oil Transport Company in Ventura, for their outdoor dining room.
In Tucson, Arizona in 1999, I designed and painted a Lebanese Souk, which was very successful. It was commissioned by Ali Baba, a family restaurant owned by Lebanese folk, and their food was excellent. I really enjoyed the excellent cuisine at Ali Baba.
During my stay in Arizona, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Russia. In Italy I was amazed at the amount of art everywhere. I became interested in biblical subjects and so started a series of old testament legends. The Jewish Community Relations Council I awarded a prize for my painting 'The Test of Abraham'.
Back in California I began showing jazz art paintings at the 57th Street Gallery. Owned by Floyd Pellom, it had a very successful 5 year run, eventually having live jazz in the evenings, but the gallery is now closed.
I would like to spend a few months, painting in Italy. I spent a month on each of my two visits, one traveling by train in central and northern Italy, and one in the regions of Ravenna and Emilia Romagno. I consider Italy my birthright. I am currently studying Italian.
Updated July, 2015