Viv was born in Alnwick, Northumberland and attended the Duchess's School where she was inspired by her art teacher Anna Watson and her love of art and music. From there she completed a foundation course in Art & Design at Leicester Polytechnic and gained a BA (Hons) Degree in Graphic Design, specialising in Illustration, at the Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry.
She moved to London where she applied her illustration skills and love of portraiture to various design projects for Creative Consultants Stylorouge Ltd involving music packaging for artists such as Alison Moyet, Johnny Mathis and Natalie Cole and Paul Kossoff, and visuals for Paul Young, George Michael's Wham! and Blur together with film posters and other projects. Further clients included BBC Publications and the Oxford University Press amongst others. For Acrobat Design she illustrated an album cover for Diana Ross and video packaging for The Beatles and Gladys Knight.
After twenty years living and working in the Capital she returned to her beloved Northumberland and to Alnmouth where she set up The Riverside Studio with her husband Graeme to showcase her original paintings and prints of local scenes. The Northeast coast is a never-ending source of inspiration for her work, as is her love of animals.
She is currently remembered for creating a series of six large scale "Comedy Greats" portraits for Alnwick Playhouse, Northumberland. When the Playhouse was renovated the paintings were all sold, with the exception of Sid. See Pictures at the Playhouse for more details.