Judy Bradshaw

My life as an artist began as soon as I figured out what I could do with a pencil and a piece of paper. I drew often as a child. By the time I was in junior high school I was drawing faces and figures from magazines and pasting them all over my bedroom walls. Drawing was not only a much loved hobby but also a form of therapy. I was sixteen when my mother died, and drawing enabled me to express my grief for a long time. Many years later, I took several drawing classes at Shepherd University and considered pursuing an art degree, however, by then I had two small sons at home and decided that I needed to be a full time mother instead of a student. Still, I continued to draw and eventually became interested in painting.

I started using watercolor and took classes from watercolorist Joe Mayer and Robin Young. I loved working with color but was not crazy about watercolor. Eventually I switched to colored pencil and pastel and continued to study color on my own, collecting art books, and reading biographies of well known artists. I also got to know many artists in my local area and they have been a great inspiration to me. Later I taught drawing, first through Adult and Community Education and then an art program called Summer Sampler.

I continued to work in colored pencil and pastel and began selling my work at Dickinson and Wait Craft Gallery in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Initially my work was small, but I wanted to paint larger, so I taught myself to paint with acrylics. Today, most of my artwork is painted in acrylic on 1-½ inch canvas or on wood panels. I live in such a beautiful part of the country, and I am often inspired to paint. I love the way the light illuminates the landscape, and my goal is to capture that in my paintings through bright colors and intense values.

I continue to sell my work at Dickinson & Wait Craft  Gallery in Shepherdstown and to teach from time to time.  I feel blessed to have been able to pursue art which began as a little girl with a pencil in my hand.

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