Imagine a small child with an impossibility to sit still for a few with older parents working hard in their own careers. In a nutshell, that describes Julia Sorrell. Her parents, both artists both working hard to support their family. Elizabeth and Alan were exhausted by Julia their youngest, rushing around and refusing to settle until one day when she was just three, and still unable to talk, Elizabeth discovered that Julia love to sow. She watched her mother sewing and decided to settle down adn create an embroidered handkerchief. Her dexterity was very mature for someone so young and at last she was focussed, and her world of visualising and creating began. She worked tirelessly to make with materials and thread, or drawing and painting, but was even then her own world. She worked hard, sometimes staying in a room for a whole day making a toy. By the time she was thirteen, she was embroidering pictures, exhibiting, selling and taking commisions. School was a necessary evil she would say. Her day began when she got home and would take out her embroidery panel and continue to work on it.
Julia decided to do textiles/embroidery at Goldsmiths College, the head of department being Constance Howard. Whilst there, she came under the influence of Betty Swanwich RA who taught life drawing. Betty Swanwich's approach to teaching and her work itself fascinated Julia who actually lodged at Betty Swanwich's house for a year and was given a studio to work in. Julia was able to work and escape the the emotional turmoil of her father's untimely death shen she was just 19. By the end of her course she decided to switch to drawing and painting, and to apply to the R.A.Schools. However, not having a good enough portfolio she returned home to teach herself drawing and painting. She got a place at the RA Schools, and was able to develop herself further. By her third year she came 2nd in the first National Portrait Gallery Portrait Award gaining a commission to paint Arthur Michael Ramsay, Baron Ramsay of Canterbury.