Hailey resident Tessa Bradley was born into a family of successful artists in England, but got a late start in her own painting career. Her first paintings were completed in London in 1984 when she was 54 years old. In 1992 one of her paintings was accepted into the Royal Academy's 225th Summer Exhibition in London—and sold.
Her diverse collection of oil paintings, murals, and commissioned portraits are on display at restaurants and businesses around the Wood River Valley, including US Bank in Bellevue, where she will hold a small artist's reception from 5-6 p.m. this evening.
"I have no formal training," Bradley said. "I just really enjoy painting."
Bradley may have inherited her talents from her parents, both of whom won the prestigious Prix de Rome prizes. Her mother, sculptor Marjorie Meggitt, and her father, Glyn Owen Jones, studied at the Royal Academy of Art and the Slade School of London, respectively. The couple then worked together on the interior reconstruction of St. Bride's Church on Fleet Street in London following the devastation of World War II. Meggitt carved splendid art deco figures and a bust of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America, while her husband painted beguiling trompe l'oeil illusions on the wall behind the altar of the church.
"Living with parents who were artists allows a young person to see the world through artists' eyes," said Bradley, who ventured to New York and then to Idaho in 1959. Her two sisters are also painters; one lives in Wales, where the local watercolor society asked her to paint and present a painting to Prince Charles, and the other works as a muralist in the Midwest.
Bradley lived on a farm in Jerome for 20 years while raising three children of her own. She then returned in 1984 to her seaport hometown of Mousehall in Cornwall, on the coast of England.
There she painted scenes of the rugged coast of England, and its idyllic seaports. Since returning to Idaho three years ago, she has produced dozens more paintings of Redfish Lake and other familiar sites in the region.
"I like to capture the feeling of a place," said Bradley, who has captured the essence of landscapes and faces from far and wide, including the Grand Canale of Venice, the River Thames and Johnny's Country Store near Shoshone.
The artist will be on hand Friday evening at US Bank in Bellevue, 625 S. Main St., from 5-6 p.m. to receive guests and discuss her work. For more information, contact the artist at (208) 481-2207.