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Born in 1970, she comes from a family with a long-standing artistic tradition.   Vanessa seeks inspiration for both painting and textile design alike in the sensual qualities of colour and pattern, which abound in many of her favourite sources - the magical landscape of Italy and its Classical architecture; the kaleidoscope of forms to be found in still life; the markets stalls and bazaars of Istanbul, Venice and Paris; the rich palette of an English garden.  All this was instrumental to her acquiring the painterly style that underlies her present work. Vanessa graduated with First Class Honours from Winchester School of Art in 1993 and during her time there received both the Eileen Bendall and the Sanderson prizes for drawing.  Already her career as a painter was well established - a one-woman show of some 40 paintings at The Gallery, Dorchester, achieved both critical and commercial success.  Since that time she has exhibited at galleries throughout the South West.  For two years in succession Vanessa was a finalist in the Winsor and Newton Young Artists competition, when her paintings were shown at the Royal Institute in Watercolorists exhibition in the Mall Galleries in London.  Showing in the Mall Gallery's Pastel Society Exhibition, Vanessa was awarded the prestigious Daler Rowney Best Young Artist in Pastels in 1995 and 1996.