Bruce Yardley was born into an artistic family, his father John Yardley RI is a well respected watercolourist. Unlike his father, Bruce has always worked exclusively in oils and firmly within the English impressionist tradition. His subject matter embraces cityscapes, interiors, and still life. Each year he travels to continental Europe in search of subject matter, most frequently to Italy (especially Venice), but also to France, Spain and Portugal. Back in England, London is a favourite subject, so too the interiors of his own Georgian home in Bath.
Although he produced his first oil painting whilst at school in the 1970s, he trained as an historian at the universities of Bristol and Oxford, gaining his doctorate in the late 1980′s before joining the wine trade, first in retail, then as a freelance writer. Bruce has been a full-time professional artist since 1996, and was fortunate to be taken on almost immediately by the Catto Gallery in Hampstead, London, where he had his first one-man exhibition in 1998. Bruce has had biennial shows there ever since, and one-man shows at many other galleries.
Uniting all his work is a fascination with the varied effects of light, whether it is the crisp, low sun of an English winter, the cushioning glow of the Venetian lagoon, or the sparkling duplications of wet reflections and polished tabletops. His paintings range in scale from small alla prima oil sketches executed on board to canvases of four foot and more.
Although Bruce cites Degas and Sickert among his chief impressionist school influences, it's Monet he cherishes most. You can see this clearly in a painting like 'Bath Abbey Morning Sun', which calls to mind Monet's Rouen series in its ecclesiastical subject matter and pre-occupation with light. It was Monet who summed up his credo as "I can only draw what I see"; interestingly, Bruce can see Bath Abbey from his house.
Bruce comments: “Whenever I have the opportunity to compare a highly finished painting with a briefer study made in preparation - I am thinking particularly of the oil sketches made by Turner, Constable and the early Impressionists, I almost always prefer the fresher, more vital treatment of the sketch. This has undoubtedly influenced the way I paint.”
Associate of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters
2000 Menena Joy Schwabe Memorial Award for work exhibited at the ROI annual exhibition