One of the country’s trail-blazing abstract artists has been made a CBE for her service to art.

Gillian Ayres, who was born in Barnes and lived there for 50 years, got the nod following a successful career as an artist, which has seen her work exhibited in the Tate Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

It will be second time the artist has met the Queen, after she made an OBE in 1986.

She said: “It was a total surprise. I didn’t know it was going to happen. I met the queen 25 years ago [to collect her OBE] and it was very extraordinary.”

The former Beverley Road resident studied at Camberwell School of Art from 1946 to 1950 and had her first solo exhibition at Gallery One, London, in 1956.

She taught at St Martin’s School of Art from 1965 to 1978 during which time shows of her work were held throughout Europe.

The artist was elected Royal Academician in 1991.

Further accolades followed. She was made an honorary doctor of English literature by London University in 1994, a senior fellow of the Royal College of Art, London, in 1996 and received a Sargent Fellowship from the British School at Rome in 1997.

London’s University of the Arts also made her an honorary fellow in 2005.

An exhibition of new pieces of her work was held in February, in the same month she turned 80.

Ms Ayres currently lives in Cornwall, where she has a studio in a woodman’s cottage.

She is one of 28 women made a CBE in the Queen’s honours list for this year.