MEET THE MEMBER – Bridgette James
Societies you belong to:
I became a member of the Society of Botanical Artists in 1993, I am now a Fellow Member. I am also a member of the Iceni Botanical Artists.
What led you to start painting:
I am a ‘self taught’ artist and began painting as a hobby when I was in my mid thirties. I was employed in various drawing offices, working mainly on heating and ventilating projects
I started painting professionally after meeting the well-known bird artist Peter Hayman nearly 40 years ago. With his advice, support and encouragement I was able to exhibit my work in London. This led to my paintings being exhibited in the Society of Wildlife exhibitions in the Mall Galleries. This resulted in 54 commissions for the late Sultan of Oman.
My illustrations have been included in many books.
I illustrated The Wildlife Trusts Guide to Wild Flowers and The Wild Flower Detectives’ Handbook, and have contributed to several other publications.
Do you have a preference for painting style? If so, can you describe it?
I love all styles of painting especially contemporary artworks but I think my drawing office experience has led me to use watercolours in a very controlled way which lends itself to botanical painting. I have tried to ‘loosen up’ but just cannot.
I now paint on a less regular basis due to my work as a Bereavement Support Volunteer attached to Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich.
The best things ever invented are:
Spectacles, I could not paint without them.
My favourite food:
The person who changed my life:
My husband Derek……and Peter Hayman!
My advice to my teenage self:
Have more courage.
The best piece of advice about art
Knowing when to stop working on a painting.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org. or by telephone: 01603 622607
Editors note: Bridgette won the Brush Award at the 2019 Selected Exhibition and was invited to become a member of the society.