Painting has been a life-long passion for Ann Payne. The society portrait painter Sir Herbert James Gunn saw some of her early drawings and recommended that she enrol at the then independent art school Byam Shaw Art School, London. The school was small, well-resourced, and based in Campden Hill London. Ann had tutors like the illustrator E.H. Shepard who drew the original illustrations for Winnie the Pooh. During the 50s the school had an academic approach to drawing and painting. It was considered an alternative to Slade School of Fine Art and Royal Academy. It was absorbed into Central Saint Martins twenty years ago.