A self-taught artist, Ninetta Butterworth was born in Jersey to an artistic family. At the age of four she began to draw horses, a subject that would dominate her artistic career. She was educated at Jersey College for Girls and later worked as a stable groom. She then moved to Devon where she worked in hunt stables and hunted with the Silverton and East Devon Foxhounds.
Her portraits of horses, dogs, hunting and racing scenes soon found a market with popular Christmas card firms. In 1951 her work was exhibited at the Fores Gallery in Bond Street and, four years later, select pieces of her work were published in limited editions under the pseudonym ‘Vixen’. In the late 1950s she became interested in coaching pictures and her carriage scenes, published by Royle as greetings cards, were very popular with the British Driving Society. In the 1970s she began to paint pictures of the Lipizzaners of the Spanish Riding School.