My painting style has gone through a number of changes, but my subject matter has remained pretty consistent; landscapes and figures. As a scenic artist painting for others, I always knew in advance what the outcome of my work had to be. In contrast, my own work starts with an idea that I let develop and take its own course. This journey is an organic experience, my starting point being a memory, or an expectation or a fleeting moment. Then through gestural brushwork, mark making and colour, I try to let my emotional energy and feelings direct my work. In this process the manipulation of the materials and the physical act of creating become as important as the subject, as I aim to capture the inner rather than the outer self.
Over the years I’ve exhibited in mixed shows in various galleries in London, Northern England, Scotland and Bodrum.
Sue studied mural painting at Glasgow School of Art and was one of the youngest students ever at sixteen. On completion of her degree, she was joint winner of a Scottish Arts Council award to paint sixteen murals in her hometown of Glasgow. Mural painting was a natural progression into painting for the stage and after a further degree in Theatre Design at Croydon College of Art she went on to work as a fulltime set designer.
However, it was painting that fulfilled her more than design and so she moved on to a career as a scenic artist, painting scenery for theatre, film, and TV. For many years she was joint owner, with Christina Nash, of a prop making studio based in Covent Garden, London, and then a scenic painting studio on the banks of the Thames. Their clients included the BBC, Channel 4, Euro Disney, English National Opera, Madame Tussauds, Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Opera House and many West End and UK theatres. She also spent several years working abroad; painting for Cannon Films in Israel and creating prop opera costumes at La Monnaie in Brussels.
Returning to London Sue started her career as a lecturer, teaching scenic art and design interpretation at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, becoming a Senior Lecturer and External Examiner for other universities. She also taught scenic art at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) for several years and summer school at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, as well as watercolour painting holidays for Simply Travels in Turkey