Both my parents were painters, my father was ship’s artist and photographer on HMS Exeter circumnavigating South America, and recording the battle during the Graff Spee conflict in the Battle of the River Plate. My mother while in Bletchley Park drew portraits of fellow Wrens while billeted at Woburn Abbey and went to art school in Poole in Dorset. We three were always painting. Here’s her sketch of me at 7- ‘The little Artist’. So I was always going to go to art school and I’ve always earned my living by my brush!

Kathleen Edwards - Susan at 7

William Edwards -MTB in dock

Kathleen Edwards- CPO Edwards

Susan Edwards- Dad   1980

Following my Graphics Degree at Leeds College of Art, I worked as in-house Graphic Designer for a London Publisher, then as a Graphic Designer, in the Civil Service, Westminster. 

Marriage and a family followed a move to Newcastle and I joined The Charlotte Press, Artist’s Printmakers in Newcastle, editioning stone and plate lithographs and etchings, and subsequently, I was invited to teach lithography and life drawing on BA and Foundation courses at Northumbria University.

Finding myself solely responsible for my 3 small children, I took a Post Graduate Secondary school teaching degree.     

While teaching Fashion and pattern drafting A level I applied to the BBC for the students to appear on the Clothes Show, and we had a whole programme devoted to the students' work. They were never the same again!

As well as teaching full time, I maintained a studio for a decade, The Billiard Room Studio, within a stately home, for my own work painting portraits on commission, exhibiting within Northumberland and painting and writing articles, for 6 years as a regular contributor for The Northumbria County Magazine. 

Remarried to a vicar in the Cotswolds, while taking on the role of vicar's wife, I took an MA in Fine Art in 2016 at Gloucester University to update my practice as a professional artist.

For the last 2 decades, I've had a whale of a time traveling the globe on cruise ships as Artist in residence, so I've not only taught thousands of people how to paint, I've now amassed hundreds of sketches which I intend to publish with tales of traveller's adventures.


Northumbria University Foundation and BA Courses. Visiting Tutor – printmaking life drawing painting

Laing Art Gallery Newcastle. Visiting Tutor -collections 

Watercolour workshops. Private stately homes, National Trust, English Heritage 

Art History Appreciation Tours. Italy Spain France

Head of Fashion and Textiles design – course on BBC Clothes Show

Expressive and Performing Arts GCSE – new GCSE Design

Examiner for A Level art with Northern Exam Board.

Head of Art - Emmanuel City Technology College 

Uppingham School – Visiting Tutor Leonardo Art Centre

The Rodney School- Visiting Tutor, Art and Expressive and Performing Arts

Some highlights

My Billiard Room Studio, Meldon Park, Northumberland

Award Winner ROI Portrait Evening

At work in my Watergarden Studio, Lord Ancram's Estate, Monteviot

New English Art Club 2021, 

Mall Galleries

The best! My 6 year old granddaughter in my Hereford Studio announces 

'Art is my life, art is!'


 Commisioned portraiture : Sir Roy Strong, 'Last summer at The Laskett Gardens';    7 grandchildren of White Family, Alcester;     Academic portrait for Dr A Williamson, Department of Politics and International Studies, Corpus Christi College Cambridge;  Conversation piece Mr and Mrs D Mayers, Earl’s Vineyard, Sussex;    Ms Suzie Knowles Cambridge;  2013 Winifred Phillips,The first Lady Chelsea Pensioner , Royal Hospital Chelsea Collection;   2014 European Portraiture Project, IMOS Foundation Collection – two portraits of EU citizens, ‘Frank at 103’ from Austria (commended by Royal Portrait Society 2014)  and Ulriika, Sweden;   2015  Portraiture for The Queen’s Swan Marker (Swan Upping);  Conversation piece – Magdeline College Oxford;   2016 -2017 The grand-daughter of Baroness Seccombe DBE  JP;  Mr Michael Appleton;  Dr and Mrs Richard Melton with their 6 children.

 Sir Hugh and Lady Anna Blackett, Northumberland;   Sir Andrew and Lady Marnie Park, London;     Lady Katie Townsend Rose;    Baker-Cresswell family Northumberland;   Steven Winkley, Head Man (retd), Uppingham School 'Olivia playing her harp';    Musical Evening at Fairfield House, Uppingham School;   Maurice Galliers – Worshipful Company of Tailors, Shrewsbury;    Augusta Barton daughter of Nicholas Barton Newlands Prep School;   Robin Oakley BBC London;   Col. Brian Gorsky, Commander of Northumberland Regiment of Fusiliers, Alnwick Castle;  Headmaster J Jones, Newlands Prep School;  Henry Spall, Washington USA;   Al Bangart, Boston USA;  Phillip Walling QC;  Ralph Appleby, Chair of Governors, The King Edward VI School Morpeth, and  Mr and Mrs Donald Vass, Berwickshire                                                                                                                                                          Drawings in the collections of: The Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe;   


2023     Solo Exhibition ART AND SOUL,  September 23,  Hereford Cathedral                                

2023    Friends of The Royal West of England CREATE Exhibition, Bristol     

2022    Friends of The Royal West of England CREATE Exhibition,  Bristol


2021    HEREFORD COLLEGE OF ARTS  Online Exhibition  'In The Frame'  for International Women's Day

2021    HEREFORD ARTS AND CRAFTS SOCIETY  Online Exhibition 'Me, myself and I' 

2020    NEW ENGLISH ART CLUB,  Mall Galleries,  London

2020    THE GREENSTAGE GALLERY,  Christmas show,  Worcester

2020    THE ARTS AND CRAFTS GALLERY,  Church Street,  Hereford

2018    THE GARDENS GALLERY,  Cheltenham,  Gloucestershire,  solo show

2018    THE FOSSE GALLERY,  Summer show,  Stowe on the Wold,  Gloucestershire

2018    H.ART AWARD WINNER OMP Gallery,  Hereford  

2018    OMP GALLERY,  Hereford, solo show

2017    THE CIDER MUSEUM, Hereford, Artist in Residence

2017    HARDWICK GALLERY,  University of Gloucester MA final Degree show

2015-6    MASTERS DEGREE Awarded Master of Fine Arts Degree at Gloucester University        

2015    THIS ENGLAND MAGAZINE – featuring a portrait of The Queen’s Swan marker David Barber  

2014    IMOS FOUNDATION: A Portrait of Europe,(portraits) Chelsea Plein Air 

2013    CHELSEA PLEIN AIR GALLERY, King’s Rd (plein air painting)

2013    CHELSEA AND WESTMINSTER TODAY Article on The Firt Lady Portrait

2012    ROYAL INSTITUTE OF OIL PAINTERS Annual Exhibition Mall Galleries (Plein Air painting)

2011    ROYAL INSTITUTE OF OIL PAINTERS Portrait Evening Award 

2011    WINTER’S GALLERY Stratford on Avon, one man show (Plein Air and studio paintings)

2011    BATH PRIZE COMMENDATION Exhibition (plein air painting)

2010    PETLEY’S GALLERY Cork Street, Summer Mixed Show (Plein air and sea paintings)

2008    KENNETH KENDAL GALLERY Isle of Wight (plein air and sea paintings)

2004    STAMFORD ARTS CENTRE, Life Drawings group show

2003    FELLOW OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS for contribution to Art Education

2003    CARLYSLE GALLERY, London

2001    ZELLA NINE GALLERY, Fulham

2000   WILLOUGHBY TRUST GALLERY Lincolnshire, Two man show with Brian Roxby ROI

1998    BROWNS GALLERY, Jesmond, Newcastle, One Man Show

1996    LIFE IN THE NORTH EXHIBITION CURATOR, (14 artists, Newcastle International City of Culture.

1995    CHANTRY GALLERY, Morpeth

1995    BONDGATE GALLERY, Alnwick One Man Show

1988    HATTON GALLERY, JOHN LAING EXHIBITION, Newcastle University, Award Winner

1985    BBC CLOTHES SHOW programme on my Fashion Design Course

1980   CHARLOTTE PRESS PRINT WORKSHOP EXHIBITIONS, Newcastle, lithography and etching


Master of Fine Art Research Gloucester University completed 2017 

I wanted to re-establish a respect for and contact with natural and rural landscape and subject matter in contemporary painting, in an era of the dominance of increasing urbanisation. 

The title of my MA Exhibition, Shared Ground’ implies a collective responsibility towards our increasingly fragile rural environment, as well as a celebration of it. 

The title of my Thesis in 2016 was ‘Rebooting the figurative in Landscape Painting The aim of this thesis was to examine current figurative painting in a contemporary context. The research concluded that figurative painting is alive and thriving again. In January 2020 the Whitechapel Gallery showed figures for the first time for nearly 2 decades. 

Statement describing the artist 

Susan’s inherent, and distinctive colourist palette and her intuitive selective response to the motif underpin the integrity of her painting which is now reaching it’s full maturity.  Painting landscapes, portraits or drawing, Susan prefers to work on location or directly from the motif. Her work is instantly recognised for it’s life affirming and exhilaratingly colourful gestural brushwork. Interlocking the illusion of the image with the materiality of the paint, she explores an interplay between surface and depth, using the full range of painting techniques. Susan’s painterly approach can be described as Expressive Figurative, where the subject is implied and interpreted rather than described, the poetry of the subject rather than the prose.  Underlying all her work is a thorough knowledge of draughtsmanship

The one that got away 

Here is a handwritten note to me from The Late Duke of Buccleuch whose favourite painting, Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Madonna of the Yarnwinder’ was stolen from Drumlanrigg Castle in 2003.  Sadly, for The Duke, the painting was only tracked down in 2007 after his death.  Equally sadly, for me, Foot and Mouth Disease, like Covid, shut everything down, so I never knew who he had in mind to sit to me ….. 

Susan Edwards March 2021

I'm including the poem below because it speaks of the enjoyment of the journey through life. Ithaka, gave me the marvellous journey...



As you set out for Ithaka 

hope your road is a long one, 

full of adventure, full of discovery. 

Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 

angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: 

you’ll never find things like that on your way 

as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, 

as long as a rare excitement 

stirs your spirit and your body. 

Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 

wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them 

unless you bring them along inside your soul, 

unless your soul sets them up in front of you. 


Hope your road is a long one. 

May there be many summer mornings when, 

with what pleasure, what joy, 

you enter harbours you’re seeing for the first time; 

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations 

to buy fine things, 

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, 

sensual perfume of every kind— 

as many sensual perfumes as you can; 

and may you visit many Egyptian cities 

to learn and go on learning from their scholars. 


Keep Ithaka always in your mind. 

Arriving there is what you’re destined for. 

But don’t hurry the journey at all. 

Better if it lasts for years, 

so you’re old by the time you reach the island, 

wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way, 

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. 


Ithaka gave you the marvellous journey. 

Without her you wouldn't have set out. 

She has nothing left to give you now. 


And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. 

Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, 

you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.