Born in 1953 in Denbigh, Elizabeth was educated at the Howell's school where, as she describes it, she spectacularly failed her art O level and more irritatingly, missed a seasons hunting. This, however, turned out to be a good thing as instead of continuing her art education she went to Eastbourne College to study domestic science. This lead her to various interesting jobs such as hunting cook in Gloucestershire and a Girl Friday on the Isle of Mull. It finally took her to Ireland to work for Thady Ryan, Master of the Scarteen Hunt in Tipperary, a post she had planned to fill for only two weeks, but actually stayed for a year.
It was while she was in Ireland that she met Bay de Courcy-Parry who at the time was a well-known writer for the Horse and Hound going under the name of Dalesman. He spotted Elizabeth one afternoon carrying her sketchbook which he duly asked to see. He promptly proclaimed You can draw and asked her to come and illustrate for him. Although she never actually did much illustrating for Dalesman, he was a very important stepping stone for her as he introduced her to Michael Lyne, which is where it all really started. Elizabeth had decided that if Michael thought she had talent that would go to Art School and pursue a career in fine art. Michael talked her out of attending Art School and told her to go home and learn to draw what she saw and not what someone else told her to see.
Having returned home, she joined a local art group and was lucky enough to be coached by an extremely good art teacher. On her third visit to the art group her art mistress removed her fur collar, dropped it onto the table and ordered Elizabeth to paint it and make it look like fur. More of a challenge than one might think. Up until this time Elizabeth had painted only in pencil and pastel as; 'It stayed where I put it'. However, having joined the art group she moved on to using watercolour.
In 1978 she married John, a young Captain in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, with whom she was to spend the next twenty years travelling round to various postings in the UK and Germany. Shortly after her marriage she inherited her first oil paints from her mother-in-law. Terrified by this grown up medium she took them to another artist, Piers Browne, to find out how to use them. Her first lesson in oils was simple. Turps thins it, oil moves it abount. Oh, said Elizabeth, So where do I start? Start where you feel like. During the late 1980's Elizabeth was lucky enough to have been sent to see a recluse by the name of Ann Dallas in Kirkcudbright who was a brilliant art teacher. She had been recommended to Elizabeth by a friendly builder who had come round to replace slates blown off their roof. This proved to be invaluable as she immediately asked to see Elizabeth's palette and pencils. She took one look at them and said, Oh you are in a muddle Dear. She then showed Elizabeth how to set out a palette correctly with the classic colours and how to use a palette knife to mix her paints keeping the colours cleaner and, of course, how to preserve the oils without throwing them away at the end of the day. Elizabeth fondly remembers how as she began to chat Ann Dallas promptly remarked, If you are talking, you are not listening. She also taught her how to sharpen her pencils correctly, giving them long leads and how to hold them more like spoon than a pen, giving more freedom of the wrist. Elizabeth enlikened this to riding a horse where if you keep your wrists loose on the bridle you retain more control of the horse.
It was also around this time that she met an artist by the name of Peter Howell who gave her three weeks intensive teaching in a studio starting at 10am and finishing at 9pm. He introduced her to impressionism and large canvases. He described Elizabeth's paintings as rather like having all the correct ingredients, but no recipe. He also made the very shrewed comment referring to artists that the middle is very crowded, but there is bags of room at the top. Whilst on their last placement in Germany, Elizabeth was lucky enough to meet Rien Poortvliet and visit his studio in 1991. While there she commented that although he worked on large canvases he did not have any large brushes. Portfleet then demonstrated how he used rags and his fingers instead and as a result Elizabeth painted with rags for nearly two years. Elizabeth has also attended three one-week courses at Brandsby Hall on three consecutive years and was lucky enough to be taught by Peter Curling, Andrew Festing and Julian Barrow respectively, all of whom were a great help to her. Both Elizabeth and John have now stopped moving round the world with the Army and have settled in North Wales where they live with a plethora of animals, including guinea pigs, dogs, hens, a Spaniel, Lurcher and a Westie and two cats - Kit and Kat. She is particularly happy now as after years of painting in her spare bedroom she has her own studio in a converted outbuilding where she beavers away at a seemingly endless demand for commissions and occasionally gets time to do work for herself and for publication by Sally Mitchell Fine Arts.
Her joining Sally Mitchell's stable of artists was particularly fortuitous as having visited one of Sally Mitchell's Exhibitions she promptly sent a card to say thank you and how much she had enjoyed it purely out of courtesy. The card was one of her own entitled Maytime showing hounds fording a brook, Sally on seeing this immediately rang Elizabeth and asked to see more work. Now, partially as a result of this and thier settling down, Elizabeth is trying to turn more towards pictures for herself and possibly for publication and cutting down on her commission work.