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Susan Peterson Maxfield
Susan Peterson Maxfield (American, 20th C.-) award-winning plein air artist, painter and photographer primarily known for her botanical, floral and landscape paintings & drawings in watercolor, mixed media and india ink. She is a granddaughter of the well known Springville, NY artist & architect Harold LeRoy Olmsted (American, 1886-1972), and often spends time at the historic family ‘Olmsted Camp’ located in Sardinia, NY. She has exhibited regularly over the last 50 years and has won numerous awards throughout her long career. In addition, she is a distinguished member of the Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, and has exhibited with the CAA since 1987, winning many prizes & awards for her artwork in painting, drawing, mixed media, watercolor, graphics and photography. She currently resides and maintains her barn studio in Stow, MA.

Susan studied at the Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, PA (1957-62) and during that time she took Saturday scholarship classes at the Moore Institute of Art in Philadelphia, PA (1961). From 1962-65 she studied at Oberlin College (studio art major) and from 1965-67, she studied under Sidney Goodman, Larry Day and Albert Gold at the Philadelphia College of Art, where she received her BFA in illustration. Through the 1970's-80’s, she attended the DeCordova Museum School in Lincoln, MA, where she took painting classes under Elizabeth Ahern, watercolor classes & figure drawing under Dudty Fletcher, as well as additional classes in figure drawing under Laura Lee, and printmaking under Donald Stoltenberg. In 2000, she advanced her studies by taking a workshop held at Linwood Gardens, Pavilion, NY, with Robert Kushner.

Artist's Statement:

"I love the activity of making marks and there is just something incredibly seductive about the potential of a blank piece of paper and a drawing instrument in my hand! Add some color, and I am in heaven. The place I paint or draw is an area I have lived in long enough to have found its familiarity, to sense its sounds and smell and light: the pond in our woods in Massachusetts, the creek at a summer home in New York, the trees and flowers of my yard and gardens. I go back to these places over and over; something either "hits me" or it doesn't, and I just "go for it", letting the act of making a mark call the shots. Over the years, I have found that these singular subjects elicit a wide variety of responses in many media: oil, watercolor, gouache, charcoal, pastel, ink, and combinations thereof. The particulars of the response vary with the seasons, time of day, a certain light quality, There is so much information in even the simplest landscape and the trick is to move from pure perception into selection. The act of discovery becomes what the painting is about, and if it is successful, its essence rings true and it will survive death-by-description.

Each picture/drawing has its own requirements, and the more responsive I can be to these, the more I enjoy the process of working them out. And occasionally, it is a challenge to work against the intrinsic qualities of a medium.

Working from nature directly, I desire to take the viewer to a place to show you what I see, to share the moment of discovery with another. Looking closely at nature is most contemplative, and my drawings are the result of my fascination and reverence for nature. I endeavor to show the plants in the precise state I observe them, without idealization, in their "glorious particularity”
. — Susan Peterson Maxfield, 2003.

Chronology:

1961- Design Selected for Cover of Program for Philadelphia Academy of Music Student Concerts.

1967- Exhibited, group show, Philadelphia College of Art Student Show, Philadelphia, PA.

1970-s-1980’s- Exhibited, groups shows, Student Exhibits at the DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, MA.

1971- Exhibited, group show, “Temple Emunah 4th Contemporary Art Exhibit”, Lexington, MA.

1980’s- Exhibited, group shows, “Annual Stow Spring Festival Art Show”, Stow, MA.

1982- Exhibited, group show, “Art in Support of Art”, Benefit Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston, MA. Exhibited, group juried show, “Marlborough Library 12th Annual Juried Show”, Marlborough, MA.

1982-Present- Distinguished Member of the Concord Art Association, exhibiting annually in their “Members Juried I – Painting and Sculpture” (January) and the “Members Juried II – Graphics, Photography and Crafts” (February), Concord, MA. Exhibited, group show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA. Exhibited, group show, “Paint the Town”, Live Auction Fundraiser, Buffalo, NY.

1994- Exhibited, group show, “Group Exhibit With Seventeen Artists”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

1997- Exhibited, group show, “Alumni Exhibit”, Abington Friends School, Josephine Muller Gallery, Jenkintown, PA.

1998- Exhibited, group show, “Benefit for Western New York Land Conservancy”, Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY. Exhibited, solo show, “A Pond, A Creek and A Backyard”, Abington Friends School, Josephine Muller Gallery, Jenkintown, PA.

1999- Exhibited, solo show, “Works on Paper”, Pennswood Village Art Gallery, Newtown, PA.

2000- March, exhibited, groups show, “Distinguished Members’ Group Salon Show”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA. September, exhibited, open group show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA. October, exhibited, group show, “Distinguished Members Artists Exhibit”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA. Exhibited, group show, "Abington Friends School Alumni Exhibit", Josephine Muller Gallery, Jenkintown, PA.

2000-2005- September, exhibited, open group shows, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2003- Exhibited, solo show, “Botanica: Benefit for Western New York Land Conservancy”, Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY. Exhibited, group show, First Annual “Art of Drawing”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2004- Exhibited, group show, “En Plein Air Painters”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2006- Exhibited, group show, “Ballinglen Artists Exhibit”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2007- September, exhibited, open group show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2008- Exhibited, group show, “Western New York Land Conservancy”, benefit exhibit to include artists Susan Maxfield, Catherine Parker, Jeanette Blair and Joe Orffeo, Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY.

2009- September, exhibited, open group show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2010- Exhibited, group show, Harvey Wheeler Community Center, Concord, MA. Exhibited, three person show, “The Creative Line”, Paintings and Drawings by Susan Maxfield, Harold Olmsted (Susan’s grandfather) and Jamie Maxfield (Susan’s son), Pennswood Art Gallery, Newtown, PA.

2011- Exhibited, solo show, “Susan Maxfield – En Plein Air”, Harold Olmsted Gallery, Springville Art Center, Springville, NY. Exhibited, group show, “Trees - A Celebration”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA. Exhibited, group show, “Tree House 360”, Invitational Exhibit with Irish artist Nick Miller, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2012- September, exhibited, open group show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

2013- June-August, exhibited, solo show, "Special Summer Feature", Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY.

Memberships: Distinguished member of the Concord Art Association, Concord, MA.

Awards: Honorable Mentions in Graphics, Photography, “Members Juried Exhibits I & II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, (1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999, and 2001); First Prize in Graphics, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, (1990); Drawing Award (Fall), Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Douglas Parker-Juror, (1998); General Excellence Award: Watercolor Journal, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, “Members Juried Exhibit I”, Margaret McCann/Carole Keller jurors, (1999); First Prize Graphics: Botanical Journal, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Laura Blacklow/John Shulz jurors, (2000); Nancy Baldwin Memorial Drawing Prize Honorable Mention, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Marais Platais juror, (2001); Jean Koch Memorial Prize in Graphics, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Henry Cataldo/John Linder jurors, (2002); Best of Mixed Media, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Judy Anne Goldman juror, (2003); Residency, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, Ireland (2005); Nancy Baldwin Memorial Drawing Prize, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, James Hull juror, (2006); Award, Concord Art Association Open Juried Show, Barbara O’Brien juror, (2007); Best of Show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, (2007); Nancy Baldwin Memorial Drawing Prize, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Lucy Lacoste juror, (2007); Painting Prize, “Members Juried Exhibit I”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Peter Alpers juror, (2008); Nancy Baldwin Memorial Drawing Prize, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Karen Haas juror, (2011); Concord Art Association Open Juried Show, Jen Mergel juror, (2012); Best of Show, “Frances N. Roddy Competition”, Concord Art Association, (2012); Nancy Baldwin Memorial Drawing Prize, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Perry Price juror, (2012); and Drawing Prize, “Members Juried Exhibit II”, Concord Art Association, Concord, MA, Natacha Sochat and Kathy Halamka jurors, (2013).

(Rewritten & compiled chronologically by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, Inc., 06/2013 [updated 12/2013], from sources: The artist’s resume and supplied biographical information; metrowny.com, biographical information, “Springville Center for the Arts Olmsted Gallery featuring the work of Susan Maxfield”, by Springville Journal Staff, Thursday, April 28, 2011.)
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