Jennifer Andrews was born in 1935 in Oxford, where she was first educated. She studied on a Foundation Course at the Oxford School of Art and later attended the Royal College of Art, where she obtained a diploma in Design. While at the RCA she attended a botanical illustration course run by John Nash (q.v.) and F. J. Bingley (1) at Flatford Mill Centre (2). She continued to attend this course annually and moved to Suffolk in the 1960’s (3). She occasionally took part in group visits to Benton End where she painted the flowers grown by Cedric Morris (q.v.) in his magnificent garden. Her love for flowers probably stems from this period. Nowadays Jennifer still paints flowers in her studio and at Flatford Mill where she also runs courses on “Painting Flowers” and “Sketching and Painting in a Suffolk Garden”. She has exhibited in various places in East Anglia including at the Minories, Colchester, the Phoenix Gallery, Lavenham and the Quay Gallery at Snape Maltings, Suffolk. When she is not painting she likes gardening in her cottage style-garden and maintains the flower borders at Flatford Mill. Jennifer was a member of Colchester Art Society for many years.
This painting of a campanula rotundifolia or harebell and a pale white rose, both delicate-looking flowers, was part of a solo exhibition at the Minories, Colchester, organised by Michael Chase, then Director (1966-1975) and John Nash (q.v.), then Colchester Art Society’s first President (1946-1977). It was under John Nash’s instigation that Colchester Art Society acquired this painting, particularly favoured by him. Sunflowers, poppies and hellebores are now Jennifer’s favourite floral subjects, but the whole world of flowers is always an inspiration to her - single blooms as well as tangles of wild flowers, garden views with pathways and garden seats. Over the years she has developed her own style and now mainly uses ink and watercolour, drawing first with a flexible nib then overlaying the waterproof ink line with clear colours, thus creating fine compositions. She also uses gouache to paint flowers, garden scenes and landscapes.
1971 The Minories, Colchester
2016 The Quay Gallery, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, group exhibition
(1) F. J. Bingley was a botanist and the Warden of the Centre between 1952 and 1982.
(2) Flatford Mill was owned by the Constable family until 1946 when it was leased to the Field Studies Council, an arrangement that continues to this day.
(3) There is a portrait, at the National Portrait Gallery, of John Nash and Jennifer Andrews by Kurt Hutton, (vintage bromide print, 1958 NPG x127178) reading, by the water, Nash’s famous book Poisonous Plants (1927).