Olly James was born in Manchester in 1948. As both a talented artist and a gifted communicator, she decided to study teacher training at Bolton College of Art before concentrating on a Fine Art and Graphics course. The search for work then took her to London, and at the age of twenty-one she got her first big break as a theatrical set designer.
In 1999, after 30 years experience as principal set designer and painter for many West End shows she decided it was time for a change. Although she is still enticed back to the theatre for special occasions, she now spends most of her time pursing her first great love of painting. Olly also finds time in her busy schedule to teach part-time as a way to pass on her knowledge and skill in set design.
Since making the transition to full-time artist, Olly has found much success. She already has many celebrity collectors including Timothy Spall and Alison Steadman and has held three solo exhibitions, all of which have been sell outs. Her published pieces explore the relationship between light and shadow, and their atmospheric tones have captured the imagination of collectors around the world.
"I try to create a positive and relaxed atmosphere in my work. I feel that this brings a healing quality to the finished painting, which is a valuable commodity to have in your home!”