Sue Malkin studied Fine Art at Leeds University, and after a postgraduate teaching qualification taught art for eleven years.
A move to Grenoble in France gave opportunities for exhibiting and teaching workshops as well as courses in her studio during her nine years there, with many awards for her work. After returning to the UK in 1994 she established herself in the North East of England, exhibiting frequently in solo shows, group exhibitions in public and private galleries.
A longstanding interest in the figure and life drawing underpins her work. Vast experience in observation drawing of the figure, the most demanding and rigorous of subject matter for an artist, gives an informed confidence to her work, whether she is painting large scale canvasses or a swiftly executed sketch with a few lines.
The scope of her subject matter widened a few years ago to include figures in movement, with many works based on studies of dancers in rehearsal. Some of these are graphic network of lines, tracing the movement of the dancer in motion rather than a snapshot of one particular stage in a movement.
Her interest in interpreting movement leads to her current work involving horses. As well-proportioned and athletic animals, they have been subject matter for many artists. The aspect that she finds particularly relevant is that, as with the human figure, the bone and muscle structure dictate very clearly what we see on the surface and this underlying anatomy together with the associations of speed and power lend themselves to her painterly approach.
The inclusion of the figure and its relationship to the horse, whether a rider, jockey, trainer or stable lad gives another dynamic and the pre-race tension in the parade ring is an element that she has explored in a series of paintings.
Her paintings of the final stages of a race with the horses galloping towards the spectator show the most dramatically strong shapes almost silhouetted for maximum impact.