"I don’t think of myself as a realist painter in the currently accepted sense. I work from photographs, which are themselves abstractions – one step removed from reality. I travel further into abstraction by removing details, shifting things around, changing perspective, exaggerating the quality, color, and direction of light, investing the shadows with greater emotional intensity. The paintings wander far afield of straightforward observations of reality, and instead become my own emotional response to the places and objects depicted."
Susan Bennerstrom's works in oils and pastels have been exhibited in solo shows in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, New York, and Ireland. She has received many awards, including a Pollock-Krasner Award, two Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowships (Ireland), a Betty Bowen Special Recognition Award (Seattle Art Museum), and three Artist Trust GAP Awards.
Her work is included in numerous public and private collections, including the Whatcom Museum, Western Washington University, the U. of WA. Medical Center, Swedish Hospital, the Washington State Art Consortium, Microsoft, the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ireland, and the Empress Zoe Hotel in Istanbul.
"Artist Profile: Spotlight on Susan Bennerstrom" Bellingham Herald