Biography for Maggi Hambling CBE (1945)
Hambling studied at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing from 1960 under Cedric Morris, then at Ipswich School of Art (1962–4), Camberwell (1964-7), and finally the Slade School of Art graduating in 1969. In 1980, Hambling became the first Artist in Residence at the National Gallery, London, during which she produced a series of portraits of the comedian Max Wall. Wall responded to Hambling's request to paint him with a note saying: "Re: painting little me, I am flattered indeed - what colour?" Yvonne Drewey, her art teacher at Amberfield School, described her as being her "pride and joy".
Hambling is known as a portraitist with several works in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Her style tends towards the expressionistic, with some portraits completed during live sittings and others painted later, partly from memory. In the 1980s, she turned more to painting landscapes, most especially of the area around Suffolk where she lives. More recently her canvases have been more abstract, often including highlights of vivid colour, in particular her dramatic Seascapes of the North Sea.
Hambling is openly lesbian (though prefers the word dyke)  and her choice of subjects for portraits over the years has included many other openly gay people, such as Derek Jarman,George Melly, Stephen Fry and Quentin Crisp. In 1998 and in 2006, she collaborated with IAP Fine Art, London, to publish editions of silk-screen prints of her portraits of Jarman, Melly and Fry (launched by Stephen Fry and George Melly) to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust, helping people with HIV and AIDS. In the late 1990s Hambling had an intimate relationship with the Soho beauty Henrietta Moraes as Moraes's life was drawing to a close. Hambling described her as her muse. She is now the lover of artist Victoria ("Tory") Dennistoun, the ex-wife of racing commentator Lord Oaksey.
In 2003 Hambling was commissioned to produce a sculpture to commemorate Benjamin Britten. The result was Scallop, a pair of oversized, 12 ft (3.7 m) high, steel scallop shells installed onAldeburgh beach. Hambling describes the piece as a conversation with the sea:
- "An important part of my concept is that at the centre of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea,"