Mary Fedden was born in Bristol and wanted to be a painter even as a child. She left Badminton School at sixteen and then studied at the Slade School of Art in London under the theatre designer Vladimir Polunin. After serving abroad as a driver in the final years of the Second World War she resumed her career as a painter. In 1949 she moved to Durham Wharf, a complex of studios on the Thames at Chiswick. Two years later she married the artist Julian Trevelyan. Together they travelled in Europe, Africa, India, Russia and America. Since 1946 Fedden has painted prolifically, taught at the Royal College of Art and has had regular exhibitions at the Redfern Gallery, the New Grafton Gallery and many other galleries throughout Britain. A number of her paintings hang in the Tate.