Ann Marie Whitton


My Story
When I was young I dreamed of being an artist (well not quite true I wanted to be a ballet dancer) I would spent most of my time drawing, painting and making things. St Albans was a rural town then and we lived opposite an enormous field, it was there that I played out with the neighbourhood children and I loved it. Roaming the fields, watching the birds and lying in the grass staring at clouds was a big part of my childhood. 

My first experience of a 'sketchbook' was buying them from the local newsagent near my house. These sketchbooks were made from thin paper and stapled in the centre, terrible quality but I adored them. I would draw with a few pencils and pens. My inspiration was anything, but I loved animals and drew loads. I still have those early books today. 

I went to a local school and did well. My favourite lessons being French and Art. But school was hard and Secondary School even harder !! But I did study A level Art and enjoyed the process. Back in the seventies there was not much career choice, and I had to get a 'proper' job, that meant nursing or teaching. So I went into teaching. My parents refused to send me to art school. 

At school I went dinghy sailing, and from this amazing experience I had a second career. Racing, sailing big yachts, tall ships, teaching and becoming a Senior Sailing Instructor. Sailing took me to the Norfolk and the Broads, Isle of Wight, Scotland, Channel Islands, Cornwall, Devon, Spain and France. It was whilst on these sailing trips I developed a love for the sea and sky.

As for my art, there is another journey. I didn't really start calling myself an artist till I was in my forties. Oaklands College and The University of Hertfordshire helped me along the way. I took many courses in Art Therapy, Life Drawing, Painting, Photography and my passion Printmaking.

The internet came along and I embraced it. From the early 2000s I started to sell my work on different websites. Hence I started to draw with line, colour and energy all the places in Britain I love. My work has gone to many UK and International destinations. 
In between all this, life gave me three children and a busy family life. Plus an active teaching career in Special Needs schools.
Since 2009 I have been running art workshops for adults at Sandringham School. Sandringham School is part of a consortium offering the local community a wide range of educational courses.

During lockdown I decided it was time for me to explore some new art ideas. As we were allowed to go for a walk, I spent a lot of time at our local field, which is called Jersey Farm Woodland Park. There I was drawing and painting the woodland and fields. And coming back to the studio to make collages from recycled paper.

Attending the year long Studio Practice course at Newlyn School of Art 2022/23 has been life changing. I have completely altered my art practice to think a lot more about the environment. I've been busy making natural inks sourced from plants in my locality. Plus, recycling materials I inherited at home. The course ended with an amazing show at the Tremenheere Gardens Gallery. I exhibited a greenhouse decorated with my natural inks and a selection of my little copper sheds, which I love !!
And to end the year I was accepted at The Royal West of England Academy Bristol 170 Exhibition 2023 to 2024, with three of my copper sheds. 
I wish my parents could see me now !!

My art explorations can be found on You Tube, Ebay, Herts Visual Arts and of course my website