A native of Amsterdam, New York, Fossati attended Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York. She was selected to participate in a Junior Abroad Program to study art in Florence, Italy with Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pennsylvania.
After receiving her B.A. from Marymount College, she returned to Florence, where she earned her M.F.A. in Painting at Villa Schifanoia, from Rosary Graduate School of Fine Arts, River Forest, Illinois. She continued to live and work in Italy before returning to the United States in 1983.
She has made her home in Rhode Island, where she continues to pursue her art. Besides being a recognized free-lance artist locally, nationally and internationally, Susan currently teaches at Rhode Island School of Design, CE, and is an Adjunct Professor at The Community College of Rhode Island. She is a member of The Art League of Rhode Island, The Bristol Art Museum, The Newport Art Museum and an award winning member of the Copley Society of Boston (1995-2005).