S/2029 Bideford Bridge and Town by James Paterson A.R.C.A.
Signed, titled and dated, 4/81 (4th April (19)81)
Watercolour size: 9.5x13.5 in.(24x34.5 cm.)
Frame size: 19x22.5 in. (48x57 cm.)
James Paterson, probably the best known and almost certainly the best liked of North Devon artists. He was born near Edinburgh, the son of a brewery cooper who during the 1930's moved to England in search of work. Although the family were hard up, his father encouraged him to go to Art College at Hartlepool, but when he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College in 1936, there was not enough money for him take it. He got there in the end after war service with the R.A.F. during which he became cartoonist with the Middle East service Magazine "Gen."
James Paterson joined Bideford School of Art in 1948, seven years later he was made Principal, holding the post through three decades. He was an Associate of the Royal College of Art and the Master Painters in Glass and a national registered designer. His work has been shown at the Royal Scottish Academy and in the Mall Galleries and he is represented in collections in Mexico, Sweden and the United States. He made painting expeditions to Australia, Turkey and Greece. He achieved notable success in stained glass, and in retirement he completed a window for a Monastery near Daventry. He once had a commission from Agatha Christie for a window for Churston Ferrers Parish Church. But he will be best remembered locally for his watercolours of Bideford. He was chairman and later president of Westward Ho! and Bideford Art Society and he exhibited regularly at the Burton Art Gallery. He died in Bideford on the 4th. August 1986.