She studied at the Slade 1964-71. In 1983 she won 2nd prize in what is now the BP Portrait Award, and in 1984 a "special commendation". She was elected a member of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1985. She became a Freeman of the City of London in 1997 and received an Hon. Doctorate of Arts from De Montfort University in 1998.
In 1985 she won the Hunting Art Prize for oil painting with her picture "Four Spanish Chairs". In 2001 she won the Ondaatje Prize for Portraiture and the Gold Medal, and was awarded an OBE.