Like most artists, Brigitte Bowyer began doodling very early on in life, in fact she even doodled in her high chair and was punished in school for drawing in her text books. Her dream was to be a painter and study at the famed ‘Sorbonne’ in Paris. However, she was an only child and her very protective father felt that Paris in the 60s would be too dangerous for his daughter. He felt that she should “study something more practical than painting pictures” and so she studied to become a graphic designer.
“Art school was a wonderful experience and graphic design will always remain a passion,” says Ms. Bowyer. “The training in this trade has stood me in good stead over the years and has helped me paint well prepared watercolours. My father did relent later and organized a very successful large solo show for me in my home town,” she adds.
Ms. Bowyer left her homeland, Germany, to travel to the United States in 1966 where Ohio became her home for the next sixteen years. During that time she became the mother of two very active young daughters and found that she badly needed an outlet for her creative energies. She thus began exploring watercolour and says: “I was hooked immediately.”
She describes the medium she paints in as a rather elusive one. “Wet on wet means that the paper is wet; one drop of paint blooms and creates wonderful images all over. I like to live on the edge and love to make these happy accidents happen.”
Miss Bowyer lists painters such as the great Edgar Whitney, Rex Brandt, Ray Loos and Don Dennis as her teachers. She says, however, that one learns as much from fellow students as from any teacher and as a teacher herself, “one ought to really pay one’s students for the insights learned.”
Her next move was to Hilton Head Island where Ms. Bowyer spent 10 years painting South Carolina’s mysterious Low Country before moving to her husband’s native country, The Bahamas. She now loves living and working on a peaceful cay within the Abacos where the beauty of the islands’ transparently turquoise seas and vibrant tropical colours are evident in all her work.
Ms. Bowyer’s unusual landscapes, seascapes and sketches are on display in many banks, hotels and corporate institutions as well as in countless private homes all over the world including those of novelist Pat Conroy and Mr. and Mrs. Sean Connery. She has been commissioned to paint as many as 50 paintings at one time for such clients as hotels and interior designers and has also won over 70 awards for her work among them many first and best of show prizes. She also displays at local art shows such as the Abaco Inn Art Show and the Annual Bahamas National Trust ‘Art for the Parks Art and Craft Show’ at the Abaco Beach Resort. Her work is on display at the Hummingbird Art Centre in Hope Town which she helps run three days a week.
This artist has conducted watercolour workshops and taught private classes in Europe, the United States and The Bahamas. She believes that the painting of a luminous, rich and successful watercolour should be fun and does not happen by chance but is the result of dedication, preparation and practice.
Ms. Bowyer will be conducting a watercolour workshop at the Hummingbird Art Gallery in Hope Town on November 11, 12, 13 from 10 am to 4 pm when she will give not only demonstrations but also individual attention. Some of the topics covered will be choosing subject matter, drawing and value studies and using the camera for information gathering. If you choose to join her workshops she will show you the way to rich, luminous watercolour painting and you will also learn many other helpful hints.