Cookery or art? That was the choice facing Bernadette Flatman when picking subjects for her O Levels.
And the decision to choose cookery meant that her talent as an artist would remain undiscovered for years.
“I loved drawing and was always good at art but choose cookery over art as we couldn’t do both,’’ said Bernadette who went to catering college and qualified as a chef. It was only when she decided to take an art course six years ago that her passion, and real flair for it, became evident.
She said: “I went on the course and simply became addicted to painting. I started to paint and just got better and better the more I did.’’
Originally from Hyndburn, Bernadette (46) had her work displayed at the Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington.
Last year she entered the annual open art exhibition at Clitheroe’s Castle Museum. And no-one was more thrilled than Bernadette when her painting, Loxey, a close up of a fox, won the Ribble Valley selectors’ choice award.
Bernadette has now lived in Clitheroe for three years with her concrete specialist husband Andrew. She helps her husband with the books for his business and can devote the rest of her time to working in her home based art studio.
Next month the Castle Museum will host an exhibition of Bernadette’s work, running from Saturday, March 12th to Sunday, May 15th. It will showcase Bernadette’s talent as an artist who specialises in wildlife images but also portraits of animals and people. Bernadette loves perfecting tiny intricate details such as eyes and fur and her paintings reflect that. Visitors will be able to see around 30 of her paintings.