Sarah Jane de Montezuma Kellam (nee Ansdell)
I have been thinking about this website for a long time as I increasingly use the internet for my ongoing and long-term research into the life, art and times of my great, great grandfather – Richard Ansdell RA – with a view to writing his biography.
Everyone painted in our household – both my parents and both my maternal grandmothers. To a child it seemed rather a singular pursuit and I was more interested in the great outdoors, my friends and a strong drive to find my own feet away from all this creativity and talent around me. A typical rebellious child in denial of the inherited ‘obvious’ growing up in the ‘60’s
I subsequently chose a career in a different sphere in which I have always worked and still work to this day.
Along the way I met and married (in 1970) my constant companion and best friend, Colin, and we had one daughter who has added to our little family circle, a wonderful son-in-law and an equally wonderful granddaughter.
Once I hit middle age and had satisfied my desires to be independent from my origins, I started to look back constantly to those formative years and I now realise just how much I was then influenced by art, architecture, colour, the forms of nature and elements of design, without even realizing it, and it dawned on me that I had a naturally richly unique heritage already inbuilt in me. Ever since then, I have tapped those resources: the ability to appreciate something outstanding – whether art, music or literature; the discipline to look at something long enough to understand it and make it work for me and to understand why it works; the glorious moments of discovery; the silence of being alone; the warmth of sharing with friends and the creative spirits of those gone before.
It seemed a natural progression, coupled with curiosity and a love of Victorian history, to properly investigate my great, great grandfather and to do him justice in a way that no-one before me has done – it’s my way of saying “thank you” for my birthright; enriching my own life in the process, and hopefully others as well.