Sheila Mannes-Abbott

Sheila Mannes-Abbott is a remarkable botanical artist.  She won a scholarship at the age of 13 to study at the Ealing School of Art, and during her career, spanning five decades, has painted a wide range of wildlife and floral subjects, which have been reproduced on media as diverse as bone china plates, greeting cards and textiles.  Her true love though is for classical botanical painting - particularly of orchids, irises and auriculas.

A founding member of the Society of Botanical Artists, Sheila's art has received the highest accolades in the field; having twice won gold medals from the Royal Horticultural Society, her work is also included in Dr Shirley Sherwood's world renowned collection of contemporary botanical art, as well as at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pittsburgh, PA.  She was elected a Fellow of the Linnaean Society in 2000, and is currently working on a book which will pull together the finest of her detailed collection of more than one hundred paintings of irises.  In the 1980's, she was responsible for the book "Four Seasons: The Life of the English Countryside" in conjunction with the noted broadcaster and author, Phil Drabble.

But Sheila also has a remarkable life story.  She was struck down with Multiple Sclerosis in her 20's, and explains that her painting played a key role in her recovery and subsequent remission.  Having been forced into a wheelchair, she nursed herself back to health through her work, which even involved in the early months having to tie paintbrushes into her hand with elastic bands.  Sheila's work has occasionally taken on a campaigning hue - in the 1970's, her painting of a historic woodland, Warren Copse, next to a major motorway outside London, was first featured in the Sunday Times Magazine, and subsequently credited with preventing the destruction of the woodland to make way for a motorway service station.

Sheila has gone on to share her skills with literally hundreds of students, through teaching in a range of settings, including as a lecturer at Brunel University.  Now semi-retired, she still runs small group classes from her home in the picturesque English seaside town of Watchet, Somerset.

Further details of her painting courses, plus the opportunity to buy originals and limited edition prints of her work, can be found at her website, www.botanicalartist.co.uk.

To contact Sheila directly, email sheila@botanicalartist.co.uk,
or telephone +44 (0)1984 634528.

Images © Sheila Mannes-Abbott

Passion Flower
Passion Flower
Artist's signed & numbered print in a limited edition of 250 copies
Mounted size: 24” X 20” (61cms. X 51 cms.)
Aperture size: 15.5” X 12”
(39cms. X 30 cms.)
Iris Chery Garden
Iris Cherry Garden
Artist's signed & numbered print in a limited edition of 250 copies
Mounted size: 24” X 20” (61cms. X 51 cms.)
Aperture size: 15.5” X 12”
(39cms. X 30 cms.)
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