About Brenda

Below you can read some information about how I became an artist. For other examples of my work please visit www.brendabarratt.com

I come from an artistic background where my grandfather was an artist, two aunts were hat designers and my father a talented, versatile artist who worked in every medium you can imagine from his studio at home.

From a young age I used to sit with my rather eccentric father watching him paint. As time progressed, he would allow me to add snowflakes and birds into his pictures and sometimes I would get carried away and make them rather too large!

Dad was commissioned by the Government to paint watercolours of important buildings thought unlikely to survive WW11 and these are in the custody of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

At the age of 8, I won an art competition for a poster I had created for Essex County Council. It was a picture of a toad leaping across the road with a policeman standing nearby looking very cross. It said ‘Don’t be like this naughty Toad, look before you cross the Road!’ I went on to win the school art cup.

On leaving school I became a fashion model for a while. However, on finding it very hard work changing clothes every five minutes, I was sent to secretarial college.

Some years later when I lived on the Kent and Sussex border the terrible storm came and I was upset to see Buxted Park devastated. So I went there with my paper and pencil and frantically started pencilling in what it used to look like before all the trees came down. I took the finished picture to my father, who stroked his chin and commented, “Well if you really want to paint, then I had better show you how to properly!” The rest is history.

My son, Oliver also has a natural bent for art and so to raise funds for Great Ormond Street when he fell ill, we held a ‘Three Generations of Art’ exhibition in Uckfield. We were quite stunned at the level of interest and support; a boy of 10, me and my father – in his 70s by then. It was great fun and we sold out in a few days.

My love of architecture soon reflected in my art. I really enjoy painting peoples’ homes as a house portrait artist. I love the whole project of driving out, meeting the owners and taking photos and discussing what they would really like so that they have a permanent record of their home. Now, I take commissions from all over the world

In 2010, my painting of Cranbrook School in Kent was taken Into space by Piers Sellers

the famous UK astronaut – Originally from Crowborough and an ex Cranbrook pupil.

In March 2011, Dr Sellers returned to his old school with my painting bearing his signature authenticating its 5 million miles of space travel at a speed of 18,000 mph. The painting was carried in a compartment beneath the space shuttle’s floor and is thought to be the first original watercolour to have travelled into space and back.

Interested in Commissioning Some Artwork?

Please feel free to get in touch by either phone or email. I will be more than happy to provide free advice & an estimate for any house portrait commissions you'd like to discuss.