Artist to the stars
Surrey Life|November 2020
Artist to the stars
Known as ‘The Face of Modern British Impressionism’, Mickleham-based Sherree Valentine Daines is celebrating four decades at the forefront of her field
Angela Sara West
From the glamour of Royal Ascot’s races and impeccably-dressed socialites at the Henley Regatta, to live charity portraits of Surrey’s famous faces and the sun-kissed memories of our childhoods and cricket matches in our county, the modern masterpieces of renowned Surrey artist Sherree Valentine Daines flawlessly captivate timelessness.

Born and raised in Surrey, Sherree trained at Epsom School of Art, while she and her large family have lived in Mickleham, just outside Dorking, for 26 years. “I have always lived very close to my parents as we are a very close family,” she says.

Not just close, they’re also a very creative family. “My husband, Mark Rowbotham, is a fabulous painter and beautiful colourist, my son, Charlie, paints lots of wonderful cafés and street scenes, while my eldest daughter, Lettice, trained as a classical violinist, performing and writing her own music, and reached the final of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago. Bunty is a sculptress and paints, too, and our youngest, Felicity, who has just graduated in fine art, is also a sculptress and painter.”

Lockdown saw the whole family living together, during which time Lettice gave birth to daughter Peaches (nicknamed ‘Pebbles’). “It was great fun with ten of us living together!” says Sherree. “Our days consisted of family time together.We got through huge amounts of food. Two of our son-in-laws, Tom Howe and Joe Morris, are professional rugby players, so my husband had them digging up the garden for training. It was a very happy and positive time with the young and two grandchildren around, and with all the lovely weather, much time was spent in the garden. Luckily we had the paddling pool out, too!”

Keeping calm as she carried on creating, Britain’s best loved modern Impressionist enjoyed setting up her easel al fresco while stuck at home, her beautiful 17th century rectory house and garden offering a stunning setting for her work. “I loved painting the garden and our vegetable plot, and plan to do more time-lapse videos of myself working on site. My perfect day is in the garden digging, planting and playing games in the evening after enjoying a family supper.”

The modern-day oil painter has hosted a fair few famous sitters at her historic home. She adores using her amazing artistic skills to benefit a large range of local charities. An active member of her local community, Sherree also promotes the arts in her role as a patron of Surrey’s Mole Valley Arts Alive Festival. “I’m also a supporter of Halow in Guildford, which helps young adults with special needs to involve them in a social life, which is often very difficult for them, and to empower creative spirits.”

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November 2020