Friday, October 12, 2012

Painting Malcolm Baldrige's Portrait for The Baldrige School of Business, Post University

 Painting Malcolm Baldrige's Portrait



In July  I was contacted by Post University to paint a portrait of Malcolm Baldrige for the newly named Malcolm Baldrige School of Business. What an honor to paint such a fine man of such integrity. 

Malcolm "Mac" Baldrige, Jr. was the 26th United States Secretary of Commerce. He was highly regarded by the world's most preeminent leaders. Congress named the annual award  Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award  for product quality in his honor. The Baldrige Award is the only formal recognition of the performance excellence of both public and private U.S. organizations given by the President of the United States. On October 17, 1988, Baldridge was presented, posthumously, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.

When I saw the black and white the reference photo that Post University gave me to base the portrait on. I was immediately struck by the intensity of Malcolm's gaze. He looked like he could look right thru you...I was, this was going to be an exciting portrait to paint. Then, in doing my normal research about my subject, (before I begin to start the portrait process), I soon realized that I was not painting an ordinary individual. This man was a true leader. A man of  immense values, integrity and commitment.

The world today, would be a much better place with more people like Malcolm Baldrige!

Malcolm Baldrige

The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business,  Post University

oil on linen  20 x 16

                                                                                                     The reference photo

I was very pleased that Post University was so happy with my  oil portrait of Malcolm Baldrige. Here is a comment by Bob Sembiante at Post University.

Susan, it looks LOVELY!  If you think about it, the fact that I engaged you simply from your website is astounding.  But the work you showed there was quite exceptional, and you’ve done it again. I’m sure the Baldrige family will be thrilled that you’ve taken this black and white photo and made it come to life in full color!

Many, many thanks…not only for your professionalism, but for putting so much heart into this effort.  It is a joy to work with you!

Bob Sembiante 

Communications Associate

Post University



Dear Susan,

 On behalf of the Post University and the Baldrige family, thank you so much for painting such a magnificent portrait of Malcolm Baldrige and for joining us at our recent celebration. It was an honor to have you there.

Please know that your painting will be a very special part of the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business for years to come.

Again, I’m so glad you were able to join us at this special event.



Tom Samph, Ph.D.

President of Post University


The artist at the unveiling

The unveiling was a wonderful and exciting event.  Post University President and CEO Tom Samph, Ph.D., was joined by “Mac’s” daughter, Molly Baldrige; members of the current Board of Trustees; Harry Hertz, Director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program; Don Mroz, Provost and Dean of The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business, and Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary, among other invited guests, at this special event in honor of Baldrige’s commitment to business excellence. 


 Here is a  link regarding the event


To meet the Artist and visit The Lobster Pot Studio, please click on the link below to see a delightful 4 minute film created by PBS Director/Producer James Nicoloro

To see more artwork by Susan Boone Durkee visit:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Welcome to my Studio Blog


To meet the Artist and visit The Lobster Pot Studio, please click on the link below to see a delightful 4 minute film created by PBS Director/Producer James Nicoloro

Thank you for all visiting my world… and my Studio Blog…



The Artist, Susan Boone Durkee, in her Studio, called The Lobster Pot, so named by Mark Twain who owned the property at the turn of the Century

 I spend 7-10 hours a day in the Studio…and usually even weekends.

 I have been painting for over 45 years.. I am primarily self trained, as you will see by all my art books and my many painting studies of the masters.   Being an Artist is a life's devotion…a devotion to truth, honesty and and spiritual awakening...and very solitary, especially for  a portrait artist… so I sacrifice the carefree lifestyle with one of discipline, dedication and concentration. 

 My reward is that with each portrait, I capture the beauty and immortality of a unique individual's spirit.

Dr. Kevin Hicks, Former Head of The Hotchkiss School, Collection The Hotchkiss School

Lilyan, Collection of the Artist

"Dominick Protomastro" former President & CEO  of  Phillips Medical

Portrait painting is the hardest of all fields of painting…You have to capture the spirit and likeness of the person……you have to constantly concentrate….look…think…and never give up ….!!!! Your mind and your spirit become one with your subject. The main principles about portrait painting are:  values (how light or dark how warm or cool a color is), edges, and accurate drawing…constantly using a plum line to measure the placement and angle of each feature… All aspects of portraiture are very exacting...when you put that final touch, the catch light in the eye, your subject comes alive! 

 I know I have finished my portrait..when the portrait  becomes alive and begins to talk to me...

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, 38 x 32 oil on canvas

Collection the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, wife of secretary-general of United Nations, Ban Ki-moon,

                          Collection Mr. and Mrs. Ban Ki-moon, New York, 18 x 14 oil on linen



Peter O'Neill, former Head of The Hotchkiss School, Collection The Hotchkiss School



Phoebe Dey, 

Collection of Choate Rosemary Hall School, 18 x 14 oil on Linen

Mariano Rivera, The greatest Closer of All Time, collection of the Artist

Woman with a Pearl Necklace, Anna Jansson Sharkey

"Vincent A. Gierer, Jr." former  Chairman of UST Inc.  Stamford, Ct

(all the small  painted details around Mr. Gierer's portrait...nearly drove me to drink!)


"Diana Kulkarni" private collection Boston, Mass.

"Helen Coley Nauts"  founder of the Cancer Research Institute

Collection Cancer Research Institute, New York

 Paul Newman (Sketch) Private Collection

Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Fund Raiser

The Redding Mark Twain

Collection of the artist

"Katherine" private collection Scarsdale, New york

"Kaye and Sal Pepe"   Greenwich, Ct

Pepe Family Collection

"Anticipation"  award winner of The Margery Soroka Memorial Award Salmagundi Club 2011

Exhibited in the  Annual American Women Artists National Juried Show 2010

Private Collection, New York


Innocence, 16 x 12 oil on linen


President Ronald Reagan, Study, Collection of the artist

Anna  Jansson Sharkey (Detail)

Director Barclays Capital 




"Mark Twain at Stormfield" private collection

 "Saleel Kulkarni"  Private Collection

"Honor Fraser"   collection of the artist

photo courtesy of David Siedner

Peter Trippi Head Study

Editor of Fine Art Connoiseur Magazine

Collection Peter Trippi

 "Jim Thorpe The Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century"

Winner of the Founders Award National Art Museum of Sport 2011

Collection of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Canton Ohio

The Bouvier Children

 Bouvier Family Collection

Liza, 24 x 30 oil on canvas

Muhlfeld Family Collection

This is Captain Stormfield, a 23 pounder, he helps me every day in the Studio

photo Courtesy of James Nicoloro


"Lucille Lortel"  collection of The Players Club, New York

Malcolm Baldrige,

former Secretary of Commerce

Collection Baldrige School of Business, 

Post University, Waterbury Ct.

To meet the Artist and visit The Lobster Pot Studio, please click on the link below to see a delightful 4 minute film created by PBS Director/Producer James Nicoloro

Captain Stormfield posing, photo courtesy of James Nicoloro

To see more artwork by Susan Boone Durkee visit: