Susan R. Kirshenbaum

art and life - both the cherries and the pits

About Me

Rhiannon MacFadyenComment

Who am I?

Working on my iPad at an art retreat in Kinsale, Ireland in the summer of 2015.

Working on my iPad at an art retreat in Kinsale, Ireland in the summer of 2015.

My family name is Kirshenbaum (Kirschenbaum) which means cherry tree. Art is my center, my core, like a cherry pit. Now that I'm making art full-time again, I’m using everything in my life’s toolbox, including the pits. Cherry Pits Art is me. I’m married to Jack, and we have two cats and no kids. We live high on a hill in San Francisco, CA, USA. I write, draw, paint, collage, take photos, sew, cook, entertain, design, and make things. I like to watch films, take classes, walk, dance, and travel – but most of all – I love to draw people. 

Now I’ve reached a point where I am coming back to full-time art after years of fitting it in around my full-time work in the creative communications field. I am digging into messy, thoughtful, and unresolved self-expression.

I'm fortunate to have gotten an unusual amount of exposure and encouragement in the art realm from age five to twentyfive. That's the period of my life when I was immersed in my family’s art school business, the Ivy School of Professional Art, in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Ivy was my foundation –where I studied, taught classes, and worked as an arts administrator.

The journey of making changes


Throughout my professional life I have maintained an active engagement in the arts as a marketer, patron, and maker. It's simply in my DNA. As the daughter of artists and art educators, I hold a strong belief in expanding people’s horizons and building community through the arts. I am forever devoted to exploring, learning, teaching, and meeting people to gain new insights and experiences. I hope that you will communicate with me, too!

Learning to make all kinds of things all different ways

I’m now unhindered by the trappings of physical media – brushes, pigments, paper and canvas, since the iPad has allowed me to focus solely on the moment and becomes a metric for creating a variety of outputs. This allows my art making to be an easily transportable process. While at home in The Bay Area I am constantly photographing the beauty that characterizes my surroundings, so I can incorporate these landmarks into my collages. And frequent travel to faraway places keeps me inspired.

What I am doing now is different from my past artwork, which was done in traditional media and was often based on a personal narrative. But it’s important to me to keep changing, progressing, and trying new approaches.

I’m thrilled that I can also output my current body of work at any scale, including human scale, as silk scrolls and soft sculpture.