Barbara Sussberg  - Abstract Oil Painter

Mark Jenkins, The Washington Post


I paint intuitively from the memory of what captivated me about a scene and always begin from a point of view of color.
I think about the time of day, the weather, how it felt to be in that place and how I can best convey that to the viewer. Although I mostly work indoors in my studio, I always utilize the skills learned from painting outside "en plein aire".

Using a palette knife allows me to create bold yet calm strokes while painting wet on wet. Then a process of sculpting, rubbing, scratching, dripping and brushing gradually brings a new painting into focus. I mix my own colors and paint in separate layers, allowing each to dry in between so that the colors stay crisp and clear.

Color, texture and the reflection of light are key elements of my work.
It is impossible for me to plan a painting exactly from the start, at some point the painting itself takes on a direction and tells me where we need to go next and when it is time to stop.


Barbara's intuitive sense of color and her ability to create textural effects from painting with a palette knife combine to achieve oil paintings that seem at once dimensional and watery, multi-layered and airy. She draws on her experience in the field of Trend and Design Development for Interior Textiles as well as having lived and studied in Paris.

A Native New Yorker, she now lives and paints in Charleston, South Carolina where the influences of timeless beauty, the warmth of the sun and the surrounding seaside serve as a never ending source of inspiration for her work