Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Contact me by e mail


If you'd like to find out more without obligation, about commissioning or purchasing my work, please feel free to e mail me:


On the cards

               Publishing house Senecio have chosen five of my paintings to publish as cards.
                                                  The colour is spot on.  Brilliant!

Safe Haven

Fun on the beach

Mill Stream

Oh what fun!

Autumn light

Monday, 8 September 2014

Mud glorious mud

ROI and Friends at Brancaster Staithe Saturday 6 September

A day painting with ROI members Brian Ryder and Andrew King at Brancaster Staithe on the North Norfolk coast was a great introduction to the area for me on Saturday, and well worth the journey.

Having lived in Northumberland near the coast for 30 years I imagined having to battle with the wind on this bit of exposed coast but the day was strangely still and mild.  I like painting organic subjects that let my brush free, and you can't get more organic than mud!!  I had a great time chasing the subtle pinks and greys of the reflected light, as you can see by my two small paintings, and listening to the evocative cry of curlews while working, reminding  me of the wild Cheviots, and drawing away my imagination into the distance of the estuary.

Thanks to Brian for identifying problems before rather than after the event, and to Andrew who agreed with me that it made a pleasant change not to have obviously sunny paintings. 'This is much more interesting light', he announced,  'we can do subtle' !

Thanks guys!

A Portrait of Europe

Portrait paintings of EU Citizens by UK Artists


I was privileged to be selected by Briony Kapoor (yes, Anish's aunt!) as one of 15 portrait painters for this adventurous project, which is intended to be exhibited in venues throughout the European Union.

As Creative Director of the IMOS Foundation Charity, Briony had a vision to 'send gifted UK artists to each of the twenty eight countries of the Union', and to find a citizen and paint their portrait.
It isn't a new idea, artists got the same brief for The Nuremberg Chronicle, published in 1493!  Durer's uncle printed it and Durer worked for him.  The rest as they say is history!

I was keen to go to Vienna as I'd always wanted to meet a distant relative who had owned a gallery in New York's Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately, when I rang to say I'd booked my flight he was spending his 103rd birthday in bed with flu!  I decided to go anyway and on my last free day my telephone enquiry was met with:' Oh he's perfectly fine today and would love to sit to you!'

In deference to his very advanced age I went prepared to only do one hour sitting,but  what I hadn't been prepared for was his request for no photos.  One hour later he delightedly pronounced the painting 'good, very good', and waived the ban on photos so I was able to capture his fleeting and expressive hand gestures. In the painting he reminded me of an enigmatic magician, you could say we both conjured up his portrait!

Below is Paul Brassington's observation on the portrait from The Catalogue:

I found the subject for my second portrait through my husband's Church Warden in our Cotswold Village. I knew he had Swedish relatives and asked if he could suggest someone. 'My grand daughter, she's drop dead gorgeous' was his immediate reaction.  Judge the result for yourself :

The IMOS Catalogue Listing describes both assignments:

and finally Briony Kapoor's critique on Ulrika  'The Ice Maiden'.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Portrait of an amazing couple

This painting was started en plein air.  Luckily it was a hot day without any wind, which was just as well as we had to get the 4' x 3' canvas with a sturdy easel and my kit all the way down to the lake in the buggy.

I first met Dennis and Charlotte when I was Artist in Residence on a World Cruise in 2012.  As soon as I had finished a public lecture on my portraiture Dennis whizzed up in his wheelchair and declared that he wanted a portrait of his beautiful wife Charlotte.  After getting to know them over the next few months on board I was told their remarkable story.  Dennis was seriously injured in an accident on his father's cattle ranch in Kenya only a few years into their marriage, which left him confined to a wheelchair from that time. Facing this huge challenge undaunted they have built a lifestyle together which has included creating and designing this lake with it's magical loggia, and farming a vineyard.

I wanted to put them both in the picture, with their beloved little dog,  as a celebration of their close relationship and their triumph over insuperable odds.

Susan Edwards contact: paintingalive@live.co.uk

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New Portraits

I love painting children but it is always wise to keep in mind the phrase "never work with children and animals" when you arrive for a first sitting.  The key is flexibility.  It helps to get children to sit to you doing something that interests them so the portrait is spontaneous and lively, reflecting their personality, not yours.
This was a family of seven grandchildren, cousins, and getting the likenesses of all the children to the same quality was always going to be the biggest challenge as it was inevitable they would be compared - for ever!

We had a lot of fun with the poses. Feisty Antonia loved showing off her Pony Club Rosettes,  Aggie was "The perfect English Rose", barefoot in the garden, Christian plays Rugby for his school, so that was a no brainer, Imogen appeared cool and self possessed as the eldest, in full riding fig.  Little Sam hardly noticed I was there during his favourite Dinosaur game and neither did Toby, who pulled a face when I arrived, reluctant to put aside the car he was repairing. He cheered up instantly when I said her could continue mending the car while I painted.  Result one fairly exploded car and one fun painting.  The family don't call him Professor for nothing.. wind forward thirty years and I've an inkling it is prescient, which is why I put some roses and the door key to the wine cellar in the background! The most laid back sitter was Thomas, relaxing with his Lab.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

You've immortalised me in paint! The First Lady Chelsea Pensioner Win Phillips is delighted with my portrait of her, now hanging in The Royal Hospital, Chelsea

It was great to catch up recently with Win Phillips recently at The Royal Hospital Founder's Day parade.
Win sat to me for her portrait which now hangs in the Royal Hospital so she has a conversation with her 'double' frequently!

The Hospital was founded by Charles II in 1682, for veterans of wars, and Founder's Day takes place every year close to his birthday, 29 May, and by coincidence also the date of his Restoration as King in 1660.

On arrival guests are given a sprig of Oak Leaves to commemorate Charles's deliverance from the Parliamentarians after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester, when he hid in an oak tree.  I painted an oak tree into Win's portrait as a visual symbol of the continuation of protection and care The Royal Hospital affords it's 300 or so pensioners, which thanks to Win's efforts now includes lady pensioners.

We had a fantastic view of the traditional ceremony as we were centrally placed in the stand near Grinling Gibbons statue of the King, dazzlingly re-gilded in 2002 for the Golden Jubilee.

Win's piercing blue eyes were ablaze with fun as we enjoyed an aperitif or two afterwards in celebration of the event!