Born in Derby in 1954 James Brereton came from a regular, working-class British family. Brereton soon realised his love and passion for art, excelling in it and school and finding a real purpose. He studied at the Joseph Wright Art School in Derby. Against his wishes, his parents encouraged him to enter a trade, and he took a gas apprenticeship, but despised the work and was an artist in his spare time. Brereton worked hard at improving his skills and in 1979 his art was seeing enough success to become a full-time professional artist.
After sailing on the Sea Training School’s schooner the ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ Brereton decided marine was his choice of genre for his art. Influenced by the greats of this specialized field of painting, he draws inspiration from the likes of Thomas Summerscale and Montague Dawson. Brereton’s success as a marine artist is shown through his love for the sea, something he nurtured whilst living on the English south coast. In addition to his passion for the ocean, his interest in the vessels of yesteryear brings a focus for painting nineteenth-century deep-water sailing ships.
Notable for his exhaustive attention to detail his specialised work leads the field among contemporary marine artists. Brereton has been exhibited in the Royal Society of Marine Artists in London and the West End. His work can be found in private collections in the UK, Belgium, The Oman, Japan and the USA.