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News > Old Girls' Association > Spotlight on Beatrice James (D 2021)

Spotlight on Beatrice James (D 2021)

Interviewed for the OGA Chain 2022
Interviewed for the OGA Chain 2022

Beatrice only started her painting in earnest three years ago but in that short time has gone from strength to strength, taking private commissions throughout her sixth form studies, in addition to her A-level art requirements.

Coming from a creative family, it was her father who taught her to draw when she was very little. However, Beatrice’s love of painting in oils only came about during her GCSE year when her art teacher threw one of her paintings in the bin and told her she’d never paint properly! (She wasn’t at St Swithun’s at the time.) In a strange way, Beatrice feels this spurred her on to try harder and it was whilst she was working with oils and a palette knife on a picture of a cart horse, that she firmly fell in love with the medium.

Over the years, Beatrice has painted alongside other artists and has enjoyed each experience, taking from them a sense of camaraderie and inspiration; each helping to develop her own techniques and style. She is now a member of both the Society of Equestrian Artists (SEA) and the British Sporting Art Trust (BSAT) and hopes to showcase some work online with SEA in the near future.

The Society have already seen Beatrice’s work and hope it will be included in their annual exhibition next year.

Two of her many summer commissions this year, were a painting of a St Swithun Rose for a fellow St Swithun’s girl’s birthday present and a horse portrait for a well-known equine artist. Asked if there was pressure producing a painting for an established artist, Beatrice replied: yes and no; as our techniques are so different there’s really no comparison, which takes the pressure off a little.

This term, Beatrice began her degree in philosophy and ethics at Southampton University. Despite other offers of places further afield, it was a conscious choice for her to stay close to home so she could continue to paint and grow her own business. Painting in oils is a time-consuming process as there are many layers to each painting and each one must be dry before the next is added. Cleverly reducing the commute back to her studio gives Beatrice more time to work and start putting together her first solo exhibition which she plans to show in a couple of years’ time.

Further ahead, Beatrice’s long-term goals include a solo exhibition at the Osborne Studio Gallery in Belgravia, London, which specialises in equestrian and other sporting paintings and was in fact opened by the Princess Royal herself in 1986. Beatrice was invited to a private view of a prestigious exhibition at this gallery in October 2022. The second of many targets in Beatrice’s sights is a commission from BSAT, who invite a different artist annually to contribute to their collection; their artist for 2022 is British painter Charles Church.

Beatrice is currently in collaboration with a new gallery space in Haslemere which is opening soon, wherein her work will be shown and sold. This is hopefully the beginning of many exciting gallery collaborations.

If you are interested in seeing more of Beatrice’s work or would like to commission a piece, you can contact her on Instagram: @bea_james_artist or via her email:

Beatrice has very generously agreed to donate a commission to the Summer Auction to raise funds for the BBF.

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Old Girls' Association
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