I was born in England and travelled extensively around Europe and the United States while growing up. My passion for drawing began when I was about 12 years old, and my academic schooling took second place to the endless doodling that covered my school books. Faces decorated the margins of algebra worksheets, horses graced the covers of science assignments. I passed my art exams with flying colours, but we will draw a veil over the rest!
On leaving school I put art to one side and pursued drama for a career. These plans were cut short when I met and married Micky, and - two babies later - was whisked off to Kenya, East Africa. Micky had spent several years in Kenya previously and realised that the lifestyle left a young wife with lots of leisure time and we know who makes work for idle hands! So he produced a lovely big box of Rowneys Pastels and suggested that I put my artistic skills to use.
I searched out another artist in Nairobi, who gave me a few tips and away I went. First of all our own children appeared on the easel, then friends began to commission me to draw theirs. I was soon asked to paint horses, which I did in oils or acrylics, and later on in pastels. People began to commission portraits of their pets too.
We spent many weekends and holidays camping out in the Kenyan bush and both of us developed skills with the camera. From photographs, and from life, I began to draw, paint and sell pictures of African wildlife and landscapes, gaining skills with portraits of the Big Five (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino). These I sold mostly through the East African Wildlife Gallery in Nairobi in the 1970s.
In 1980 we moved to New Zealand where I was able to build up a Portrait business, Suzy Kirkaldy Portraits, first in Wellington, then in Auckland. My work now adorns the walls of homes in many countries of the world.
I feel enormously blessed to have been able to develop and use the gift that God has given me, and in turn to be able to give pleasure to so many people through the medium of my art.
Other aspects of Suzy - click