Equestrian and portrait artist Susan Crawford was born in the Scottish district of East Lothian. Her father was a racehorse trainer and she grew up on the family farm, inheriting her parent's affinity with horses and the countryside and learning to ride when she was only a toddler.
She spent two years at the Florentine drawing school of Signorini Nera Simi but is an entirely self-taught painter, using a classsical old master technique of applying oil in thin glazes. Greatly inspired by classical horse painters George Stubbs and Sir Alfred Munnings, she is widely recognised as one of the most accomplished realist animal painters working in Britain today, with a fantastic ability to blend detailed observation with mood and immediacy.
Susan Crawford has exhibited at a number of distinguished galleries throughout the world, including The National Portrait Gallery, The Royal Academy of Arts, The Tryon Gallery, London and The National Gallery of Pahang Penang, Malaysia. Her most recent one-man show took place in 2001.
Amongst her many fine works, Susan Crawford has painted twenty-one Epsom Derby winners and steeple-chasers such as the all time favourites, Red Rum, Arkle and Desert Orchid. However, despite her high profile as a painter of horses, she is also a well-established portrait artist. She has painted five members of the British Royal family, including HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as HH The Sultan of Brunei and HM The Sultan of Oman.
Susan Crawford resided for some years in the Middle East, although she has now returned to southern England, where she colors and indulges in her favourite pastime activities which are; horse-racing, dogs feeding, birds keeping, and shopping for antiques. Nevertheless, besides her high profile as an equestrian artist, Susan is also well-established and appreciated as a painter of portraits. Crawford till now has painted five members of the British Royal family, including HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as HH The Sultan of Brunei and HM The Sultan of Oman.
The late art, music, and literature critic Stella Walker asserted once of Susan's work: "Racing historians shall be perpetually in her debt for her convincing and intriguing portraits of such stars of the turf as Ribot, Northern Dancer, Sadler's Wells, Shirley Heights, Nijinsky, Sir Ivor, Mill Reef and Dancing Brave. The quality, grandeur, sublimity, and distinction of her work, effectively reflecting the ultimate influence of Stubbs, has ensured her recognition and endorsement as one of the most aesthetically accomplished sporting artists of her era."
Her painting of Arkle, Red Rum and Desert Orchid (entitled We Three Kings) is still the finest selling print world-wide.
She now lives on the Scottish Borders alongside her husband Jeremy along with numerous dogs, birds, ducks, chickens and pigeons. They are parents of two children, Jake Phipps (a product designer), and Jemma Phipps (a portrait painter), along with several grandchildren.