Born in Pittsburgh, Joseph Sulkowski became a painter in the Realist style, especially noted for his dog portraits and sporting scenes with horses and foxhounds. His work has become very popular in England.
He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, then at the Art Students League in New York City, where his teacher was Frank Mason. There he also met his future wife, Elizabeth Brandon, a still-life painter. While a student, he became interested in domestic animals, but his portraits of Arabian horses gave him his first big break. He was awarded a commission from the Saudi Arabian government to paint two murals depicting Saudi history. Many of his collectors are owners of Thoroughbreds and involved in horse racing and breeding.
Sulkowski is a believer in the classical traditions of creating art, which involves skillful draftsmanship, knowledge of anatomy, and meticulous preparation of canvases and paint. His method of glazing the surface before beginning a work gives his paintings a special luminosity. He is particularly admiring of contemporary Richard Schmid and the Flemish and Dutch artists, particularly Peter Paul Rubens. He and his wife, artist Elizabeth Brandon, live in the rolling hills near Nashville, Tennessee.