Artist & Tutor


Sky Arts at South Gare Redcar

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 19:26 -- sue

Went to see the heat of Landscape Art of the Year 

would of liked to have taken part, unfortunately had to work, 

the weather was good for a change, it can be cold and windy down there.

it will be on Sky later this year, 

I am a professional accociate with the SAA Teaching Art working and supporting students.

Fri, 29/04/2016 - 11:33 -- sue

Recently the SAA have asked me to become a professional associate, promoting their Pastels.

If you are interested in a day trip to The SAA headquarters in Newark, I am running a day trip by coach from Stokesley, North Yorkshire on Wednesday, September 7, 2017.

This year the SAA asked members and artists to paint a small work of art on a small card, the result was to create a Guiness World record. Which was easily achived, thousands were received and on view at their Centre.   

Please let me know if you are interested  

Sue at the SAASAA promotion



SAA (Teaching Art)

Tue, 25/02/2014 - 08:55 -- Admin

Film DayFilm Day

On February 6, I was invited to attend the SAA offices in Newark and be filmed for a web clip.

There were 6 professional artists, including myself. During the day we had a tour of the warehouse, an Aladdin's cave of art materials, followed by a practice session to camera. Then after a lovely lunch and a chat, we started filming,

I was first to present my pastel demonstration of a woodland scene at Balmoral Castle, where I ran painting holidays.

Firstly I explained various painting tips, i.e.  the benefits of working pastel upright. Use of the different types of pastels:, hard to soft. The next tip was working with a black felt tip to draw the picture. Especially good for blocking in dark areas of your picture, pastel will cover it, so it doesn't matter if you make a mistake. Pastel is a forgiving medium.

Production of this web clips for my approval, before being made available on the SAA's website.

I would like to thank Gary, the studio manager and Emma who co-ordinated the event for the opportunity and for their professionalism and encouragement throughout the day.

Film DayFilm Day

Fundraising for Asbestos related illnesses

Fri, 14/06/2013 - 12:56 -- sue

Sue with donated paintingEastgate Clock, Chester

I have donated this original picture of the Eastgate Clock, Chester, to The Cheshire Asbestos Victims Support Group (CAVSG) for their fund raising.

Also in appreciation of the help given by the Group to my partner John Thistlewood.


To help with their funds we have decided to raffle the picture (collage) . This will take the form of a raffle with tickets limited to 200 and numbered 1-200.

They will cost £10 each and the draw will take place on Friday, July 5, 2013 at Liverpool Town Hall, during the Action Mesothelioma Day event at 12.45pm

Tickets may be purchased from the CAVSG office at 3 Fryer Street, Runcorn, WA7 1ND or by  telephone on 01928 576641. also tickets are availabe from me.

Tel 01642 712926, email


All proceeds will be used to assist sufferers of asbeestos related illnesses and their families.

Tickets must be purchased and paid for by noon on Friday 5th July 2013. Sales will end then or when 200 tickets have been sold.

Charity number 1042679 Licence number SL0129


Delmont Hotel Painting Holiday in Scarborough 2013

Tue, 12/02/2013 - 23:52 -- sue

I would like to thank the students who attended the Delmont holiday, January 28- Feb 2, 2013, I was very pleased with everyones work and kind comments and hope to see you all again next year.

Here's a lovely testimonial from Christine, she came all the way from Guernsey

Just emailing to say that I really enjoyed the few days with on your painting holiday. I learnt a lot and will take note of what you say with regards to using better paints and paper. I didn't get a chance to photo your collage paintings, they were so inspiring - epecially the street scene with young people and their umbrellas. Also the collage demo you did so quickly transformed into a flower stall in the market was beautiful, regards Christine

Leeds Flower Market Collage painting of The Flower Market in Leeds

Freddy by Artist Ray LonsdaleThis statue is situated just a short distance from the Delmont, by artist Ray Lonsdale

Cloverleaf Paint Box

Tue, 22/01/2013 - 20:27 -- sue

Picture of Box openpicture showing the painting box open

Painting Box closedpicture shows closed box

Cloverleaf paint box

I have recently acquired a compact versatile paint box. Ideal for taking on

painting trips and holidays abroad, it’s made by Cloverleaf and designed by a

painting artist friend called Barry Herniman.

Approx size when closed  4.5 " x 4.5" x 1.25 "   (115mm x 15mm x 30mm)

Made from durable white plastic

Lightweight approx 260 grams


-    2 trays with 4 deep mixing wells in each.

-   1 flat mixing tray which also forms a top on the paint compartment         when closed    .

-   1 deep lid that doubles as another flat mixing well.

-    A removable central paint compartment with 13 deep wells ideal for squeezed tube colours as well as full and half pans.

     -   A universal thumb plate for both left and right handed painters.

     -   1 deep lid that also has two deep mixing wells

You can even put the box in the dishwasher !


Cost £38 including VAT and delivery


If you are interested in purchasing this box or require further details, please

contact me in the first instance with your name and address by telephoning

 01642 712926 or email:

Payment by cheque made out to S M Ford or online to my bank account

Mrs S M Ford  Sort code: 404313 Account Number:  41432192




I have just returned from a cruise teaching watercolours on Queen Victoria

Fri, 21/12/2012 - 20:57 -- sue


Queen Victoria cruise – 22 November to 13 December 2012

I have just returned from a 21 day cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria.  The cruise was featured as “Wonders of the Ancient World” round the Mediterranean and involved ports of call at Vigo, Palma, Valetta, Piraeus, Olympia and Malaga. Unfortunately planned stops at Rhodes (bad weather) and Port Said and Alexandria (political unrest) had to be cancelled but were replaced with stopovers in Limmasol, Cyprus and Turkey.

This was my fourth trip with Cunard, my second trip teaching watercolours on The Queen Victoria.

I’m usually accompanied by my partner John, however due to illness he couldn’t make it, so a good friend and accomplished artist, Barbara Place, became my “glamorous assistant”.

The classes were well attended and Barbara was a great help dividing the students between us. Classes were held morning and afternoon on “at sea” days (22 sessions in all). The outgoing sessions through the Bay of Biscay had to endure stormy weather so it was a relief to reach the calmer waters of the Med.

If any guests/students are reading this, it was a pleasure to meet you all. Barbara and I really enjoyed our time with you and hopefully you will keep in touch on your painting progress and perhaps I’ll see you either on another cruise or painting holiday?

Here are a couple of memorable pictures 

Art students on the Queen Victoria with Sue FordArt students with Artist Sue Ford on the Queen Victoria

Ephesus, Turkey, my favourite stop during the cruise, My favourite location during the cruise, Ephesus Turkey

Students art exhibition, on the Cunard's Queen VictoriaExhibition by Students at the end of the cruise

Wondered what to bring to a painting course?

Wed, 14/11/2012 - 16:45 -- sue


Lois and Bill from the Watermill in Posara, asked me the following questions about my teaching style and materials to bring to the painting holiday.

What do like about painting outdoors, speedily, sketching etc.

When painting outdoors, I encourage student’s to start with thumbnail sketches, using a viewfinder to create pleasing compositions, backing up with a photograph.This approach is invaluable, especially if working against weather or time restraints. These sketches should only take about 10 minutes.So if we have to return to the studio we have sketches to works from. Once we are happy with our compositions, I discuss with students how they should develop the painting and discuss any technical issues they may have. Painting from sketches eliminates unwanted detail and provides a freer painting.

What is your preferred style of teaching, demos on location? Studio work?

Within my regular classes I prefer to teach step by step techniques, as most my students want to learn different approaches. More advanced students I encourage them to develop their own style.I run studio workshops where I do a demonstration, and then students follow my example with their picture references.  I also do demonstrations to art societies. On holiday courses, I like to combine studio and outdoor work. I tailor my courses to the needs of my students, so if their need a particular demonstration, I can adapt.

What’s the most important thing about making a good painting and drawing?

Good paintings come from good composition, balancing upright detail against the horizontal. Also colour knowledge and tonal range is important.I encourage my students to practice their drawing and tonal values with simple sketches when ever they can.

Does it matter if the student is an absolute beginner?

No it doesn’t matter if a beginner comes, I encourage them to start with a simple composition and colour palette. I discuss materials and usually a step by step approach is best for them. How do you get honesty/yourself into your paintings? I’m not a slave to the landscape; I like to capture the essence of the scene.

I move things or simplify, plus my knowledge of colour. Some students ask why I use a certain colour when they can’t see it, my answer is “once you know the tonal value of a colour you can replace it with any colour of the same tonal value” e.g. when using dark colours, keep the darks interesting, use dark reds purples and blues.

Do you have particular paints/tools/materials you like to use?

My colour palette range consist of a warm and a cool of each primary colour

Cadmium Red (warm)

Permanent Rose (cool)

Cadmium Yellow (warm)

Lemon yellow (cool)

French Ultramarine Blue (warm)

Cobalt (cool)

Other colours I use Cobalt Violet, Cobalt Turquoise and Burnt Sienna.

Other materials consist of various watercolour and acrylic brushes.

Have you written any books/Produced any videos which you would recommend to your students?

I have written several articles for Leisure Painter and Saa’s Paint magazines, on Pastel techniques.

I will be soon have a screen test with the SAA (teaching art)  if successful to make a DVD on collage techniques.

Tips for people coming to the Mill. e.g. sketching on the spot, choosing your subject?

I would suggest students keep equipment to the minimum when working outdoors, certainly a viewfinder, a small sketchbook, pencils, rubber, a couple of brushes, tissue, small watercolour box, camera, watercolour paper and drawing board.

I will give advice on creating the thumbnails to get started, plus tuition on how to develop sketches into paintings, by on site demonstrations and one to one tuition.

Tips on cutting down on what you have to pack

For working in Watercolour just bring your small box of watercolours, viewfinder, watercolour book/paper, brushes - number 3 rigger, 8 and 10 rounds, putty rubber, small stretch book, water pot, permanent sepia drawing pen and a 2B and 4B pencils with sharpener

If working in acrylics, - a small stay wet palette, small tubes of acrylics, I find the “Atelier” paints are excellent from the SAA, around £13 for 12 colours, plus spay bottle and DVD,

Bring supports, i.e., primed card, or small canvasses that will fit into your suitcase. A selection of acrylic brushes and water pot

If working in soft pastels I suggest a small box of Inscribe pastels, very reasonable at £10 for 72 half sticks, plus a box or landscape Unison pastels retailing at £30 for 18 colours.  , also bring a selection of pastel papers in a pad or loose sheets; I suggest Canson, Fabrinano and Colourfix papers by Art Spectrum. All these items are available from major art suppliers, i.e. SAA Jackson’s and Ken Bromley

If wishing to try collage in the studio – bring a black felt tip pen, colour magazine and cardboard primed with a base of orange acrylic.

Don’t forget the camera, sunhat and cream! If you would like to discuss further details please contact me on 01642 712926 by emailing through the site or

If you would like to hear a recording of this interview,

St Gemma's Hospice Art Exhibition

Fri, 26/10/2012 - 18:17 -- sue

I have two paintings in this Exhibition, my first time entering.

I popped over to see the exhibition today, Friday, and I'm delighted to have sold the

"Rainy day at York" painting. There are over 700 pieces of original art, Gift Shop and Cafe.

The venues within the Grammar School at Leeds. on behalf of St Gemma's Hospice


The Leeds Art Exhibition and Sale

October - Thursday 25 to Sunday 28

Open Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm 

Sunday 10am-4pm

Admission £3


St Gemma Art Exhibition Leeds Grammar School