Julia Sorrell is a British artist known for her portraits and imaginative drawings and paintings using figures and natural forms such as wood, shells, rock and plants using a range of media from pencil, charcoal, pen & ink, pastel, watercolour and oil.
She studied textiles and embroidery under Constance Howard MBE at Goldsmiths’ College (1973–6) who purchased her work to use as examples in talks and publications. She was taught drawing by Betty Swanwick RA (who was to produce the artwork for albums by rock group Genesis), and she sold her first work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition at the age of 19. Following the death of her father, she turned more towards drawing and painting, and gained a place at the Royal Academy of Arts(1978–81).
Whilst a student there her self-portrait gained second prize in the first National Portrait Gallery, London Portrait Award, 1980, now known as the BP Portrait Award. This led to a series of portrait commissions including one from the National Portrait Gallery to paint Michael Ramsey, the ex-Archbishop of Canterbury. Her letters describing this experience were borrowed by Michael Ramsey’s biographer Owen Chadwick who then passed them on to the library of Lambeth Palace.
She was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 2008, the Royal Society of British Artists in 2009, and the Norwich Twenty Group in 2010. Her work is also in the collections of the Beecroft Art Gallery, the Chelmsford Museum, Reading Museum, New Hall Art Collection and Laporte plc. She is a frequent contributor to The Artist magazine.She lives in Norfolk and exhibits in London at the Mall Galleries as a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and the Royal Society of British Artists.