Bernadette Watts
From The Bernadette Watts Collection: Stories and Fairy Tales

Bernadette Watts

1942 -

Bernadette Watts was born in Northampton, England, in 1942 to an architect father and painter mother. Their advice and guidance had a major influence on her work. From an early age her father always ensured that she had to draw on despite its scarcity in the post-war years.

At the age of six she made her first trip to the cinema to see Walt Disney's "Pinocchio," from that moment on it was clear to her that she wanted to draw. This dream started to turn to reality when she received a place to study at Maidstone College of Art where her teachers included Brian Wildsmith, William Stobbs and, later, an unknown young artist by the name of David Hockney.

In 1967 Bernadette went to the Frankfurt Bookfair for the first time. Her financial situation meant she could only afford a one-way ticket but she set off hoping to find a Publisher who believed in her talent enough to lend her the money to get back home. That publisher was Dimitri Sidjanski and in 1968 her first book, "Little Red Riding Hood," was published by NordSud Verlag. To this day it remains in print and is among her most loved. Over the next four decades there followed an array of books illustrated by Bernadette, many of them Grimm or Andersen fairy tales but also some self-penned stories.

Throughout her life Bernadette has travelled widely in Europe, Asia and Africa. The impressions these journeys made on her have had a major influence on her stories and the colourful world of her illustration, making up her award-winning and popular oeuvre. 

To this day Bernadette is full of ideas for new projects although she increasingly draws inspiration from the everyday flora and fauna around her home in Kent, UK.

From The Bernadette Watts Collection: Stories and Fairy Takes