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LONDON EVENING STANDARD - 28 JUNE 2000

The Queen Motherís Artist

Untutored Painter Wins A Place In Royalís Collection

By Danielle Gusmaroli

Self-taught artist Sharon Gee has had her talent spotted by the Queen Mother. The 38-year-old former video shop owner took up the brush only two years ago and now the Queen Mother, a keen art collector, has acquired one of her paintings. She is said to be "absolutely delighted with it".

Entitled White Lace, the watercolour painting hangs in a sitting room in Clarence House for the Queen Motherís guests to see. Her private secretary, Sir Alastair Aird, recalls: "Indeed the Queen Mother remembers the painting arriving and was very excited when she saw it. She is very appreciative and is absolutely delighted with it.

"The Queen Mother particularly likes Impressionists, pre-Raphaelites and Old Masters. The painting now forms part of her collection. She remembers Sharon well and wishes her every success in her career."

Sharon first came to the Queen Motherís attention when a member of staff from Clarence House was picking up a painting from a royal framer in Edmonton and, seeing Sharonís works, he remarked on their vividness and strength of colour.

The Impressionist-style painting, inspired by the Highlands, is deliberately depicted in merging shades of mauve, the colour of many of the Queen Motherís ensembles.

Sharon, who lives in Southgate, said: "I always associate the Royal Family with the Highlands.

"The painting is very impressionistic. The White Lace refers to the early morning mist and I painted it in purples and mauves to represent the heather. I know it is a colour she wears a lot."

Art collector Ron Farebrother became Sharonís agent after catching site of her work in the back room of the video shop. He arranged her launch exhibition at the McNeill Fine Art Gallery in Radlett, Hertfordshire. It was a success, with 40 of her 52 paintings sold.

"It is a dream come true, a fairytale," she said.
Copyright © 2001 Sharon Gee