Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits

New Year New Plans

Susan KirshenbaumComment
Golden hour in Golden Gate Park January 2019

Golden hour in Golden Gate Park January 2019

New Year’s Resolutions

This is how the year started out - with my arm still in the shoulder surgery sling, so it didn’t seem like a good idea to line up too many art shows. I’ve just been liberated from the sling and now I can step back and see where to focus this year. I figured out my goals for 2019 include: apply for and get Art Residencies and Grants to be able to work on bigger projects/installations. I’d also like to collaborate more with other artists, find a good-fit crit group, make some public art, and enjoy my new role as Exhibitions Director for SFWA. I hope to win over new Patrons via Patreon - ideally adding folks who don’t even know me personally.

“Color Block Silk Scroll Series: Jade Reaching” 2016

“Color Block Silk Scroll Series: Jade Reaching” 2016

“White Silk Scroll Series: Red Hair Curly and Straight” 2016

“White Silk Scroll Series: Red Hair Curly and Straight” 2016


I’m still feeling inspired by the shows I attended in SF last week - FOG and Untitled.

Untitled VIP entry was great fun at Pier 37 this year, despite the overpriced cocktails. It was also an entertaining fashion show for our city which is not especially fashionable. I felt like a tourist so we went to eat afterward at Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39!

FOG is all about beauty and luxury. The best of the best and an extension of SFMOMA. So it’s great to just go, look, and learn! And attending with a few different friends lent several fresh perspectives. Here’s a peek into their Gala:

A FOG installation that was popular with the photographers.

A FOG installation that was popular with the photographers.

Gorgeous displays abound at FOG.

Gorgeous displays abound at FOG.


At the same time that I sold my piece at Arc’s SNAP!” show I bought a painting by my creative director, curator, painter friend Joseph Abbati.

“Graffiti Wall Series: Break Dance” sold at SNAP! the annual Juried show and sale at Arc.

“Graffiti Wall Series: Break Dance” sold at SNAP! the annual Juried show and sale at Arc.


Crazy to add to so much stimulation in last several days but I had a free hour so I blasted through the Legion of Honor to see a simply stunning show:

Incredible to think that these royal men decorated and bejeweled themselves as much or more than their female counterparts.

Stormy gray SF winter skies. The Legion always reminds me of the Louvre.

Stormy gray SF winter skies. The Legion always reminds me of the Louvre.


I started my Friday afternoon walks again, mostly in Golden Gate Park. I’m reminded how much I love this city! I get inspired by the rain-fresh air and springtime beginning in January. Reflections in Stow Lake abound. Pink and white Magnolia trees are coming into full bloom in the Botanical Garden.

Just outside the DeYoung Museum (SF)

Just outside the DeYoung Museum (SF)

Stow Lake early evening reflections, Golden Gate Park (SF)

Stow Lake early evening reflections, Golden Gate Park (SF)

Golden Gate Park magnolia tree trunk.

Golden Gate Park magnolia tree trunk.

The permanent display at the Asian Museum (SF)


Whenever I wander into the Asian Art Museum I linger over their collection of delicate, multi-colored snuff bottles. I love the color combinations especially all the coral and jade…Stay tuned for my visit to the next show at at the Asian Museum (SF).


> SFWA Gallery Receptions: Thurs 2/7 & Sat 2/23

> City Art Coop Gallery (SF) Reception: Fri 3/1


It seemed that I didn’t have so much going in the way of art shows booked for the year so when the opportunity arose to rent the entire rear gallery at SFWA for February - I took it! I will show my entire series of seven silk scrolls. This might be the last time I will show them. I’m feeling an itch to move on…

So I’ll be taking down the three scrolls pictured here (below). This is the last week of “Advanced” so I led a group of art-loving friends through the exhibition, curated by Joseph Abbati, at Senator Scott Weiner’s office. It’s a great show in a great space!

I’m in the center with painter Usha Shukla and textile artist/curator Deborah Corsini. My scrolls are in the background.


“Mirror Series: Offering” is one of a large group of square images that are also included in my new book. There are three styles within this little square series. They are: (1) simple, clean single figures, (2) mirrored or multiplied figures, (3) drawings that are photo collaged. This series debuted at City Art Gallery (SF) in November and three were featured in “Small Presents” at SFWA at the end of 2018.

“Mirror Series: Offering” is an image I shot in Burma then collaged with a mirrored life drawing.

“Mirror Series: Offering” is an image I shot in Burma then collaged with a mirrored life drawing.


Interested in my first book of work with 30+ pages of art? Many works are included from the square series plus others which I haven’t printed yet. I still have several in this limited edition: Inquire at


In March 2019 I’m launching a Poster Series at City Art Coop Gallery in the SF Mission. I have the front space in the gallery window!

“Graphic Nudes: The Poster Series” are my latest grouping of figurative works in bold solid colors.

“Graphic Nudes: The Poster Series” are my latest grouping of figurative works in bold solid colors.


It was just at the DeYoung Museum (SF) – my favorite SF museum. If you didn’t have a chance to catch this eye-opening show it just ended. It was beautiful, surprising, and thought- provoking. I believe you could try to see it in Berlin…

How do fashion designers modify their high-end designs for a modest wearer? Apparently there’s a whole fashion and art movement including super-cool artwear too. Note the leather jacket below.

My neighbor saw this exhibition and she was artistically inspired: “It was awesome and exciting to see and learn about such exotic works and people and the pride they have in their culture and religion. I also learned the word #mipster (a Muslim hipster) who are so fun and relatable.” -Brooke S.

There’s photography and video in the show too. I saw this (same?) series of artistic scarf photos at the Jenkins Johnson booth at the Untitled show.

“Agony or Ecstasy”

“Agony or Ecstasy”


This month I started attended a day-time drawing group. What a novelty! It’s located right in Golden Gate Park in Sharon Art Studio.

Big, graceful men - here are some sample works with the latest male models, bodies curving in their own ways, made into collages or left as simple gesture drawings.

“Weighted Stance”, digital drawing 2019

“Thrust Forward”, digital drawing 2019

“Sunset Years”, a digital collage 2019

“Mountain Man”, a digital collage 2019

“Balance and Gesture”, digital drawing 2019

“Woman Warrior”, a digital collage 2019

“Woman Warrior”, a digital collage 2019


A Political Note:

The Women’s March took place last weekend and I watched it roll into The Embarcadero (SF). I loved the energy, clever signs and creative costumes. I choose to put aside the controversies surrounding the organizers of this march. I’m delighted there’s so much force behind the rejuvenation of the “Women’s Movement” (which I grew up in). I didn’t march this time due to my arm sling - getting bumped around in crowds is painful…

In my heart and in my art I march for women every day.

Simultaneously, the government shutdown painfully effected my family directly, and I’m glad that at the point of this writing that it’s over for the time being.

As 2018 Winds Down - Wishing for Rain and Wind

Susan KirshenbaumComment

What’s Happening Now

What a year! Just a couple more shows and then a shoulder surgery - so out of commission for a bit.


I am sitting in my home/studio looking out at our smoke-filled sky. They say it’s like 10 cigs a day. I already smoked mine decades ago and don’t need more. It is so darn sad!

“In Conversation” is one of three large silk scrolls hanging in Senator Scott Weiner’s office in Dec 2018-Jan 2019.

“In Conversation” is one of three large silk scrolls hanging in Senator Scott Weiner’s office in Dec 2018-Jan 2019.

Life for some goes on…

I’m just wrapping up a couple shows now (Spark Arts Open Studios show was extended) and at City Art Coop November show. I’ll be in “Small Presence” with a series of three pieces at SFWA for December.

Now I’m super excited to be showing three of my color block silk scrolls in Senator Scott Weiner’s office gallery Dec-Jan. Okay, it’s kind of a funny theme - ADVANCED, curated by Joseph Abbati. Yes, that term is about in age, and other factors, like where you are in your career...

Reception: December 14 from 5-7pm with refreshments and snacks.

Thanksgiving feels especially powerful this year. So much to be thankful for. We host, and it’ll be rather small for us. We expect our desperately needed rain this Thursday.


I’d like to thank Rhiannon MacFaden who has been my art coach for several years now. That’s right, I have an art coach - and she’s wonderful (and I’m willing to share).

And here’s a shout-out to San Francisco Women Artists Gallery. We’ve been in SF since the late 1800’s! I especially love to support women’s organizations and always have done so in business as well. Now I’m joining the SFWA BOD as Exhibitions Director for 2019. So looking forward to learning a lot and being able to contribute strategically and hands-on with our art shows! This lovely gallery has themed juried shows every month. Located in the inner Sunset, it’s a hidden gem. All Bay Area artist friends - consider joining us! The organization just keeps getting better.

Thanks, too, to my newest galleries where I had a chance to show my work this year: Back to the Picture, City Art Coop SF, Abrams Claghorn Gallery (Grove Salon), Spark Arts, Secret Agent, and Radian Gallery.

Thank you Nigel and Reginald for keeping me company throughout all this.

Thanks to the many friends (old and new) who came to so many shows! It’s really important to have your support. I hope it’s fun for you too. A gazillion thanks to Jack who hauled, hung, selected, schlepped, and attended oh so many exhibitions.

Exciting news! I just launched my Patreon page! It’s all very new to me, but I encourage you to sign up to be my Patron - even at the lowest tier, so that others will follow suit. Thank you! It’ll be full of fun arty treats. Become a patron here:

Until mid-January, I’ll continue to post updates on my Instagram page, my Cherry Pits Facebook Page, and on my website. But no more blogging in 2018. Thank you all for actually reading and giving me feedback on my posts! Happy holidays to you! I’m looking forward to a healthy, productive, and artful 2019.

And remember, art books make excellent gifts!

An Industrious Autumn

Susan KirshenbaumComment


I think I’m in the dead center of all this activity. So now I am eagerly planning a week off to do very little, because I’m too darn busy, and maybe shouldn’t take a break to write this, but I don’t want my readers to miss anything coming up soon!


So far this fall I was in the inaugural invitational show at Radian Gallery, a brand new venture by my old friend Tony Wessling (the gallery started out as Wessling Gallery but has changed names since). You can see images of my rarely shown “Banderas Series” below - plus when you click on Radian Gallery you can tour the entire show in VR. I’ll be doing some curating for the gallery too, which I look forward to.


In the early fall and in the middle of all these shows and preparations, I took a break for a beautiful little road trip around Western Washington state with a small group of friends. Fantastic and inspiring. All this while still walking around in a boot from my foot surgery.


My show at Grove Salon on Solano Ave. in Albany, CA ran through September. Curated by Abrams Claghorn Gallery, it was my East Bay debut, and friends came from near and far!


I’ve also participated in several shows at the SFWA gallery. In September the “GAIA: Age of Climate Change” exhibition was juried by my friend and former teacher, Kim Anno. We were part of the city-wide event on Climate Action and we enjoyed an inspiring talk by Kim on Art + Activism. The October show is “Vibrant Visions” and it’s an eye-popper!


Through October I’m in a 2-person show that is Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Usha Shukla and I are showing our work together at Spark Arts in a show titled “Parallel Universes: Abstract and Figurative”. Come and see this unbeatable combination of work. We’d like to continue showing our work together since it’s so complimentary - suggestions for venues are welcome. The gallery also threw a fabulous art party/reception with a band - Green Ribbon, and a live model drawing session with Titine. A portion of the proceeds of this show will be donated.


I’ve been volunteering for Artspan and for SFWA. My foot is pretty much back to normal so I can stand around and schmooze at all these events.


There have been a bunch of fun parties and events like the Gala at SoMarts to kick off Open Studios. I’m looking forward to my two Open Studios at SFWA and Spark Arts (Weekends 4 & 5). Check out the bike tour that Artspan is offering during weekend 4.

I also spent an afternoon at the Hunters Point Shipyard Open Studios yesterday. Wow, that was a dense, rich experience. I’m completely convinced I need to get a studio outside of my home now.


In November I’ll be exhibiting a new series of small square pieces at City Art Cooperative Gallery. I just published a little square book of my art too, with 33 images. It corresponds nicely with this show. I’ve already had to order a second edition (this time with a hard cover) since the initial run was very small and is selling out quickly!


If you live here in the Bay Area I hope you can stop by my upcoming exhibitions and receptions:

-OCT. 25 - Root Division Auction Event - I have a colorful silk scroll in this show/auction!

-OCT. 27 - Last day of two-person show at Spark Arts - call for an appointment to see our work!

NOV. 2 - Reception at City Art Coop, 7-10pm - I’m showing a series of a dozen new small pieces. Through 12/1.

-NOV. 3 & 4 OPEN STUDIOS at SFWA, 11-6pm

-NOV. 3 - VIP Reception at SFWA for Open Studios 10-Noon

-NOV. 4 - Art demos and talks at SFWA

-NOV. 10 & 11 OPEN STUDIOS at Spark Arts, 11-6pm

-NOV. 10 - Reception at Spark Arts for Open Studios 6-9pm