Exerpt from Sandra Blows obituary in the Guardian, by Michael McNay:
Blow was born in London, where her father was a fruit wholesaler at Spitalfields market. As a child she often visited her grandparents' farm, where she loved to paint the Kentish orchards, and at the age of 15 her family realised that art was her thing. So she went to St Martin's and - her own description - discovered paradise. "My father didn't know anything about art," she said later, "but made sure I had a roof over my head and food, so I was free to work."
In truth, it was work and play. "I can't believe how insouciant we all were," she said. During the war years she would meet other painters like Lucian Freud and John Minton at the Mandrake or the Gargoyle club, or at the Colony Club in Soho, a favourite watering hole of Francis Bacon and the subject of a famous painting by Michael Andrews.
"Lucian once took me to the top of a bombed church in Soho," she told an interviewer in later life. "There were two towers left and he leapt over the gap. 'You can't possibly expect me to do that,' I said. 'Just think of it as if you were on the escalator in Selfridges,' he replied."