Fiona Crichton-Berner

Born: Cornwall, England.

Education: Through high school in England, liberal arts. Subsiquent college courses in U.S.

Hobbies: Other than painting, she owns and manages Seahorse Haven, a horse riding trailhead, enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, sailing, and her whippets.

Married: Blissfully! To a Fulbright Scholar who is also an author and a classical riding instructor.

Art goals: To produce art that is interesting, inspirational, functional and tactile.

 

A short synopsis

For the first two decades of her life, Fiona lived in Cornwall - southwestern tip of England - and in Scotland - north of England. Sent to boarding school at five years old (a traditional sort of education in those days) she developed an independent streak, but decided she never wanted to grow up. But, she did of course, maintaining a huge amount of child in her adulthood. It pops up in her painting every now and then, you have perhaps already noticed! Born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth to a family who for generations had been entrepreneurs and builders, of houses and aqueducts and gardens and boats. It is no wonder she thought to marry and have a castle for a family home. After all, she had one as a child. Fate took a hand, she rebelled against the establishment and set out to get as far away from home as possible. Short listed for a job in New Zealand at 18, she missed it by one and at 22 ended up in the States.Kentucky claimed her for three years, working always in art related and creative endeavors and going to school for the same. Painting backdrops and scenery for opera, theatre and ballet: decorating and doing flowers for debutante parties and society weddings, while all the time riding, hunting, racing and showing.Then to Texas, where riding took a bit of a back seat, and Fiona involved herself almost single mindedly in the art world. Working in galleries, framing shops and conservation framing with the emphasis on old fabric and quilts. Her own art was also on hold during this period but was substituted by growing a profusion of brightly colored flowers. Since art is such an intrinsic part of her background it was inevitable that it would (sooner or later) come strongly to the fore. Around 1990, finding herself for a period of time with nothing much else to do except paint, she turned out a number of large floor cloths and was granted a show at the then Graham Gallery in Houston. After a while the horses nickered to her again and for several years now she has been juggling both endeavors. And since life without either seems impossible, for the foreseeable future that is what she plans to do; and build a house and have a huge garden and perhaps illustrate her husband's book!

 

Footnote

For those interested in the entrepreneurial side of her character, she is some kind of distant cousin to Cecil Rhodes and a direct descendant of Hugh Peters, founders of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Harvard University. Dubious accolades perhaps, you must be the judge!

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