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James Dodds
James Dodds, Scots Pines
James Dodds, Night Trees
James Dodds, Winkle Brig or Bumkin

Few artists convey such an intimate understanding of boats and boatbuilding as James Dodds, who spent his teenage years sailing as a mate on board a Baltic Trader before becoming an apprentice shipwright in his native Essex. Arguably Britain’s leading living marine artist, his acclaimed paintings and prints capture the utilitarian beauty of seafaring life.


Born in the east coast fishing town of Brightlingsea, Dodds studied at Colchester School of Art, Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He has consistently exhibited throughout his thirty-four year career in London, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and Maine USA. In 2001 a major retrospective of his work, “Shipshape”, toured the UK and earned significant praise from critics. He is one of the few living artists included in the 2013/14 blockbuster exhibition Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia and his triptych painting of a Cromer Crabber hung beside J.M.W. Turner. 

Represented by Messums in Cork Street, London, his work is found in the V&A, The National Maritime Museum, Britten-Pears Library, The Sainsbury Centre, The Horniman Museum, Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, Madison Museum of Fine Art, The Victor Batte-Lay Foundation, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Colchester borough councils and numerous private collections. His many awards include an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex in recognition of his “distinguished contribution to the local community as an artist and defender of our community and natural heritage.” In 2016 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Colchester Art Society, a special anniversary medal designed by the sculptor, John Doubleday, was awarded to James Dodds for his outstanding contribution to the visual arts.

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