Artist, Illustrator, Designer
I am so fortunate to have a studio which is beautifully located in a large garden overlooking the Trent & Mersy Canal in Barnton, Northwich, Cheshire. Barnton is the only village on the canal system to have two tunnels. To rise every day and look at the water, the wild life and the changing seasons is inspirational.
Whilst I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings (who wouldn’t be) it is also the effect of light, colour and texture on a subject that draws me in as with the night time scenes of the local chemical works. These large industrial scenes with a similar theme of illuminated steam have a dramatic quality about them so I have been very pleased with the response to them.
I was thrilled to be selected for the BBC2 Show Me The Monet programme and from an original 3000 who applied, eventually became one of the 36 winning artists to exhibit in the Mall Galleries. What a wonderful but nerve wracking experience that was and I am forever grateful to the art critics Charlotte Mullins, Roy Boulton and David Lee for endorsing my painting ‘Nightshift’.
I have since exhibited in London with a group called ‘After the Monet’ formed by 20 of the winning artists and we intend to exhibit together in the future.
Although commissions do dictate a subject and many of them are from narrow boat owners wanting a favourite location, I like to paint whatever I am really drawn to and particularly the effect of light on the subject. I have been described as a versatile artist as I enjoy a variety of styles and subjects.
Before changing direction and becoming a fine artist, I enjoyed a successful career as a freelance international designer of wallpapers and furnishing fabrics, exhibiting in London, Paris, Lille, Frankfurt, New York, Seoul and Tokyo. I guess it is this design background which has contributed so much to my versatility.
I am delighted that many of my paintings are in private collections in U.S.A. Canada, New Zealand and UK including The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs and I was honoured to be commissioned to produce a painting which was presented to H.R.H. The Duke of Kent.
Some years ago I was privileged to be commissioned to illustrate ‘The Baggin Man Takes the Train’ which was launched on a steam train and ‘The Baggin Man Visits the Weaver Valley’ both written by John Hulme. Thousands of the books have been widely distributed and many were sent across the world. These are signed in my former name Bernice Barrett-Brown. Although I paint in a different style these days I was very proud to be involved with these books.
My largest painting to date has been the massive 30′ x 8’ exterior mural which is now on permanent exhibition at the Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich. This was commissioned by the Anderton Boat Lift Trustees to pay tribute to the engineers and designer of the lift and to all the many people involved with the restoration of the lift of which Prince Charles is the patron.
Thank you for taking the time to visit my website. I hope you enjoy what you see. You are very welcome to visit my studio but I suggest, to save you a wasted journey, that you telephone my mobile 07531 722 974 first in case I am painting elsewhere.
PS. Those who know me well call me by my middle name, Bernice, which I really prefer having been called that all my life. (Not sure why parents do that!) The use of my first name, Diana, is a legacy from my radio presenting when my name was promoted regularly so that is why I used both names and became used to answering to either! (I still prefer Bernice though, Lol!) Just to add to the confusion, before I became Mrs John Tackley, I was formerly Bernice Barrett-Brown and some of my early paintings were signed with that name.