Annabel Andrews was born in the Isle of Wight in 1940 now lives and works in El Escorial near Madrid Spain, where the colour, light and volumes of the mountains inspire her work.
"I started drawing and painting very young. Living in the natural environment on the Isle of Wight (England) . There was no TV, internet, iPhones or iPads. Our toys were the trees and animals in the fields, and curiosity was focused on nature, observing things very closely, or looking out to the sea and sky.
At school at a very young age we received classes of drawing and painting, and every year were examined by the Royal Drawing Society. The teacher was from the famous London Slade school of Fine Arts. She motivated us through her teaching, and I did well in the exams, obtaining an Honors certificate.
After leaving school I intended to study art, but was offered a good job in London which I accepted. The work was interesting, learning at the same time orthopedic radiography and attending operations at the London Clinic. Some of my work was used to illustrate Sir Reginald Whatson Jones books.
In London I shared a flat with a friend who had finished art school and worked for an advertising company, and taught me many things at the week ends, the Australian artist Brian Robertson also lived upstairs. Brian later became well known as an art critic and author.
Years later I went to live in the Canary Islands. And there I attended a Municipal Workshop with a sculptor, Abraham Cardenas and I started doing sculpture, at the same time the Parramon correspondence course from Barcelona, which was interesting and lasted three years. It was very exciting to send my work and wait for the results and the corrections, I learned all the techniques and started to paint Canary Island landscapes.
There I won a local prize, and started painting portraits in the British Club in Las Palmas. There were always plenty of volunteers to sit, including the British Consul.
On coming to live in Madrid I attended the prestigious Peña Academy in the Plaza Mayor, where I learnt many techniques and live model painting.
The following years I attended two important workshops in the Circulo de Bellas Artes de Madrid. The first with Jose Guerrero who had recently returned to Spain from New York where he was part of the New York school of Abstract Expressionism. He made a great impression on me, inspiring me to try minimalism and abstraction. Unfortunately he had to return to New York.
I then started another workshop with Pablo Palazuelo who was geometric and constructivist, and formed part of an interesting group of friends around him. He also greatly influenced my work. The two workshops were a bit antagonistic, Guerrero was very emotional, very visceral and intuitive and Palazuelo was logical and very cerebral everything was very rational and structured. Both have marked the path of my artistic work."