Since 1968, Nantucket Looms has been proud to represent our local craftspeople. We carry the works of over seventy different artisans, including painters, potters, basket weavers, jewelry makers and wood carvers. To honor those whose unique creations reflect the natural beauty and history of our beloved island, we will highlight an artist on our website every month. This month, meet oil painter Susan Briskman.
Susan Briskman's oil paintings are expressions of her passion for the light and color of Nantucket. Focussing on the island's landscape in her work, Briskman describes herself as an 'expressionist'. "I'm not a realist. My paintings are expressions inspired by Nantucket's landscape - filtering how I feel about what I see".
Growing up in Brooklyn, Briskman loved to paint as early as Kindergarten. She attended Hunter College in Manhattan where she studied art and art history before doing a masters in Library Science. Upon moving to Massachusetts, she worked as a school librarian for many years. Having fallen in love with Nantucket, Briskman and her husband eventually decided to buy a summer house on the island. The house, which has now become their home for half the year, offers Briskman the opportunity to pursue her art in the place where she is most inspired. Her art studio is nestled in the basement of their Fair Street home, filled with photographs and images of inspiration along with paintbrushes and easels holding her current works-in-progress. Although they travel for the off-season, Briskman finds herself focussing on painting Nantucket landscapes rather than the landscapes she discovers on her travels - to Italy, Turkey and more. "There's just so much inspiration here. You could paint the same scene over and over and it would be different every time!"
When she retired ten years ago, Briskman took the opportunity to focus on her artwork. She still beams ear to ear describing the joy she felt presenting her portfolio to the Artists Association of Nantucket and being accepted. Now, years later, she is an active member of the Artists Association Board and Education Committee. Briskman has shown her work at Nantucket Looms for many years and admits to have been nervous about bringing her work to the shop; "I remember it well. I was nervous because I love the Looms! I was so happy when they said they liked my paintings!"
Like many of the artists encountered on the Nantucket Looms Artist Feature series, Briskman speaks fondly of the Nantucket art community. "Everyone is so supportive. It's not competitive at all - there's room for everybody".
A small selection of Susan Briskman's oil paintings are available to purchase online, with more available in our 51 Main Street shop.