Barbara James


Artist Biography:

Barbara James was born in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Although her very earliest memories recall her love of the bright colours of poster paint and her anticipation of what she could achieve with them, as a young child she found art extremely difficult and did not really consider a career in the arts world until she became involved in set and costume design whilst completing her degree in Music, Dance and Drama. Her tutor picked up on a small series of sketches which she had prepared for the costumes for a production of Hamlet and his enthusiasm gave Barbara James the courage to begin to experiment with colours, textiles and artistic ideas. On leaving university, Barbara James made her career in the media, particularly in television, where she has made programmes for most of her professional life. However, looking for an extra dimension, she decided to return to oil painting at the end of the 1990s and, within six months, she had become a finalist in a national competition run by Artist & Illustrators magazine. Illness then required her to take some time off work, which allowed her to concentrate more fully on her love of painting, and she began to sell and exhibit her originals through local galleries. W H Smith picked up one of her paintings for a British Artists card range and sold over 20,000 copies of the card in the first year. Now an extremely successful professional artist, Barbara James declares that her artist life has been "quite a journey since infant school but I am finally beginning to get the pictures out of my head and onto the canvas".

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