Sue Hertz

My oil paintings and photographs are inspired by the scenery and people around me. The four rooms of my downtown location are filled with paintings and prints of local scenes, seascapes, people, and more; you’ll also find a series of photographs of Cayuga Lake at its best. Water is featured in many of my works, as I’m fascinated by its ever-changing interplay of colors, textures, and movements.




DeWitt Building, 215 N. Cayuga Street (a brick building flanked by Cayuga, Buffalo and Seneca Streets with entrances both on Seneca and Buffalo). My studio is on the first floor (up one flight).


You’ll find my artwork at 215 North Cayuga Street in the Dewitt Building (where Moosewood Restaurant is located). The building is flanked by Cayuga, Buffalo, and Seneca Streets. Enter from the Buffalo or Seneca Street side and go up one flight of stairs to the first floor. Halfway down the hall you’ll see an open brown double door inviting you in.


As a child, I loved to draw, but short of a few stints as an artist for my school newspapers, I didn’t do anything serious with art. My drawings consisted primarily of doodles of faces, often in cartoon form, on any piece of paper I could get my hands on.

My career path took a different direction. I got a Ph.D. in linguistics at Cornell (with a minor in computer science), taught and did research in speech perception and speech synthesis at Cornell (where I am currently an Adjunct Professor of Linguistics), and founded Eloquent Technology, a local speech technology company. Eloquent grew over seventeen years from a small basement operation to a world-wide leader in multi-language text-to-speech technology, leaving me little time for making art (short of doodling while on the phone). In early 2001 I sold the company, and shortly thereafter took a hiatus from my speech life. This gave me the opportunity to take some local art classes, which rekindled my childhood love of art.

While I would have expected to gravitate toward drawing portraits, I quickly discovered an affinity for painting water, which appears in more than half my paintings. I am fascinated by water, with its ever-changing interplay of colors, textures, and movements, and find oil paints to be the perfect medium for capturing its essence.

In 2004 the speech bug bit again and I founded another speech technology company, Synfonica LLC ( Never again, however, will my speech undertakings overshadow my art pursuits. I am intrigued by the similarities in how humans perceive objects and sound, integrating cues like intensities, contrasts, sizes, etc. into meaningful “scenes,” be they landscapes or sentences. I see speech research and art as synergistic endeavors and realize now that while I’ve only painted with a brush since my 50's, I’ve actually been painting in some form or another for most of my adult life.

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