Annabelle studied fine art illustration for four years at Exeter and Portsmouth colleges, developing many artistic skills learned from her mother. She studied portraiture and the human form with Nicholas Beer at the Sarum Studio in Salisbury. The training was in the traditional ‘sight size’ technique, progressing from casts to live models in an atelier setting, using Nitram charcoal and oil paints. Nicholas taught at the famous Charles Cecil School of portraiture in Florence for about 20 years.
She is an established commission artist, completing numerous commissions since 2001, creating striking images in oil, pastel, charcoal and pencil. Although she is known primarily as a prolific portrait artist, she also creates beautiful animal portraits, and any other subject is welcomed from photographs.
Annabelle is the portrait artist for the Queen’s Gurkha Signals and has also been commissioned by the Royal Signals.
A familiar sight at numerous shows, festivals and markets over the years, she has spent many years demonstrating drawing, pastels and painting in public, as well as previously teaching and giving lectures at art society meetings.
She is a direct descendant of famous 19th century portrait and landscape artist John Linnell (the patron of William Blake) and is also related to the artist Samuel Palmer. Their work can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain.
Annabelle also makes bespoke hand-made frames (no glass) and provides a world-wide shipping service.
Coming soon – new still life paintings and artwork using techniques gained at the Sarum Studio.
About The Gallery
The gallery is a Grade 2 listed Georgian building and was opened in 2012 by the mayor, Esme Butler. The road was closed to traffic and a large crowd of guests filled the road to see the ceremony. After a beautiful speech by the mayor, Annabelle and the mayor cut the ribbon, formally opening The Valentine Gallery to the public.
The gallery, which is open by appointment, is Annabelle’s studio and workshop with a framing workshop is in the cellars. She can regularly be seen working on commissions through the large windows and displays ‘works in progress’ for all to see.
The gallery was purchased in 2011 in a sorry state. It was painted a dreary grey, had blackened stains inside, and the exterior definitely needed some TLC. Annabelle decided to do the renovation herself and once the Listed Building Consent was granted. She hired scaffolding and spent the next 7 weeks working hard re-pointing the wall with lime mortar, sanding, filling, painting, signwriting etc.
She then sanded down the floor, laid some more floorboards, put up ornate coving and made curtains, all to create a traditional and Georgian feel to the building.