I live in Wellington, New Zealand, and all the art work on this site is done by me.
As early as I can remember I have loved animals, nature, drawing, painting, sculpting, designing etc. When I was very young my father bought me a box of 72 Cumberland 'Derwent' colour pencils with a range of beautiful natural shades. This gift became a defining moment in my young artistic life! The pencils were so loved, so sparingly sharpened and so carefully used that even after all these years, they still have a special place in my studio! Of course I have added & added to them since.
My aunt, a teaching and exhibiting NZ artist who worked with water colours & oils, greatly influenced me & when I was young used to take me with her when she was out painting, sometimes with noted NZ artist friends & colleagues accompanying us.
During my college years I won art prizes in various mediums and 2 pieces of my college art were chosen to be in an International exhibition overseas of student art from around the world. I have illustrated & crafted many things, many times, including school magazines, a published book and produced art for newspapers and sculpted. And of course, always drawing pencil, pen & ink cartoons for, and of, my friends - beginning a life-long practice.
While living in London, after working in the NZ dentistry sector for 10 years or so, I studied calligraphy & gilding with members of the Society of Scribes & Illuminators. I returned home to NZ to run my own art/graphic design/calligraphy business for 25 plus years. My work, such as special awards and presentation documents, often required highly detailed & accurate fine illustration and/or illumination. However I particularly love the design and execution challenges of working with graphite & coloured pencil, pen & ink & watercolour. (I've included only a tiny sample of my calligraphy on this site and, for now, I have put aside my calligraphy pens.)
In 'About my artisannabelle™ series' (INFO left side-bar) I can combine my deep love of nature, animals and of design in a different way to creating my cartoon cards.
Footnote: Friends tell me that they wait, or had waited, for one of my personal cartoon cards with a mixture of pleasurable anticipation, dread or fear as I continued to explore the boundaries between cartoon and caricature. It has been said more than a few times.....
"Annabelle's cartoons have brought great pleasure to many people. Unfortunately, they were not always the people in the cartoons!"
A reminder of the need for care in drawing a fine line!