Having grown up in the city, artist Bridget Skanski-Such always wanted to live in the country – and looking at her stunning portfolio it’s easy to see how the latter has inspired her work.
Bridget specialises in wildlife, painting the foxes, badgers, squirrels and birds she encounters on a daily basis, as well as the rural landscapes they inhabit, in her own impressionistic style.
As well as exhibiting her painting and prints locally around Lincolnshire and on the national stage, she also sells them online and paints to commission, too.
“Where I live you drive through lots of little lanes to get to the main roads and there is wildlife everywhere.
“I have never tired of watching the changing seasons and the magic of the natural world unfolding around me every day,” says Bridget, the artist in residence at Donington Primary School, where she has been a specialist art teacher and music teacher for the past 15 years.
“My works are influenced by the changing cycles of the rural landscape and the folklore associated with it.
“When I first moved here from Nottingham I wondered how long it would take for me to become blasé and take it all for granted, but that’s never happened.
“Waking up here every day I find it such a joyous experience.”
Bridget, who lives in Oasby, near Grantham, has always been interested in art, but after leaving school was encouraged by her mother to complete a teaching degree with a BA in creative arts at Trent Polytechnic, as she believed she needed a vocation instead of trying to make her living from art.
Her first teaching job was in Grantham, and she soon moved up the ranks, taking responsibility for the art department, before becoming a headteacher in her 30’s.
But the pull of the art world remained strong, so, at the age of 40 she started exhibiting her own paintings – mainly acrylic and textile pieces – and was encouraged to produce more after making her first sales.
“Lots of people dabble but what makes you improve is the pressure to keep producing your own work,” explains Bridget. “I soon found my own style.
“Art is just like other jobs – nobody feels like it every day; some days you are really inspired and have a brilliant idea that you must work on straight away and other days you don’t but you still have to do it.
“As an artist I just find that I’m inspired by everything around me – the countryside, the works of other artists, even someone else’s living room. I’ll come away thinking about the colours and how I can make them into something else in my head.”
The coming few months are set to be busy for Bridget. Not only is she preparing to show her work at several festive events, she is also working on a contribution to a book about oil and acrylic painting techniques after being approached by an American publisher.