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I started painting later in life, but art has always been in my blood. Why else would I have been so traumatized when my kindergarten teacher forbade me from drawing, fearing that my art obsession might stunt my development in other areas? When I eventually snuck a piece of drawing paper from the art closet, I felt whole again.

After kindergarten, I sketched people at every opportunity. My career path, however, took a different direction. I got a Ph.D. in linguistics at Cornell, taught and did research in speech synthesis, and founded a speech technology company. After selling the company, I took some art classes and rekindled my childhood love of art. While I would have expected to gravitate toward drawing portraits, I quickly discovered an affinity for painting water, the focus of more than half my paintings. I am fascinated by water’s ever-changing interplay of colors, textures, and movements, and find oil paints to be the perfect medium for capturing its essence.

While I have founded another speech company, never again will my speech undertakings overshadow my art pursuits. I am intrigued by the similarities in how humans perceive the visual and auditory worlds around them. In both my passions, I strive to create the appropriate cues (contrasts, intensities, etc.) to effectively render my intent, be it in the form of a painting or a synthetic utterance. I see speech and art as synergistic endeavors and realize now that while I didn’t start painting until my fifties, I’ve actually been painting most of my adult life.

To check out an interview with Sue Hertz, click here!

Studio Location Details

 My art space is in the Dewitt Building at 215 North Cayuga Street (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.  Continue straight down the hall.  Halfway down the hall you will see open brown double doors inviting you in.

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