UCLA Extension

Suzan Karlin

karlin_suzanSuzan is a former model, dancer and painter. After majoring in Liberal Arts at Butler College, she became a runway model at the age of twenty and lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, and then New York over a span of four years.

In 1966, Suzan was modeling at the Cocoanut Grove—the Ambassador Hotel’s restaurant and nightclub—when the organizer of the show promised her dinner if she dropped her jacket on any man in the audience. She dropped it on a lady instead, but he still took her out. They married later that year and soon afterward, moved to Spain (the island of Ibiza, Spain for 12 years, followed by Mallorca for 10 years) where Suzan became a flamenco dancer. She also taught herself to paint.


“I took some art courses at the John Herron Art Institute while I was at Butler College,” she said. “But they weren’t painting courses; they were mostly in commercial art.” Nonetheless, she had five showings in art galleries in Long Island and Ibiza.

Suzan started taking Osher classes in 2010 after her surgery for a cavernoma rendered her unable to paint and dance. She particularly enjoys music courses with Steve Barri and Don Peake. She lives in Westwood and rides a motorized scooter to classes.

Image 1Oil painting using just a palette knife, no brush strokes.
Santorini, Greece 1970s.
37 x 27 centimeters.

Image 2Made out of Kraft paper, painted with silver and coper acrylic.
Ibiza, Spain 1980s.
128 x 100 centimeters.

Image 3This was made from her son’s old quilt when he was a little boy. It was almost in threads when she mounted it on a board and made a painting out of it. Painted with acyrlic.
California 1980s.
114 x 155 centimeters.

Image 4Made out of Kraft Paper, paynes gray and gold.
Ibiza, Spain 1980s.
145 x 128 centimeters.