Stephen Bradbury was born in Manchester, England, the eldest of three sons to William and Doreen Bradbury. After attending Marple Hall Grammar School(1966–72) in Cheshire, where he studied art under the tutelage of Keith Stephens and the renowned potter and author, Harold Powell, he went on to do a foundation course in art at Bolton College of Art (1972–73), winning the Robert Fairthurst Prize, before doing degree work in Textile Design at Loughborough College of Art in 1974. 

In 1973, Stephen Bradbury married Sue Goodricke; they have three children, Rachael, Hope and Jonathon and in 1988, the family came to Cornwall, where they still reside. In 1982 he was commissioned by art director, Gary Day Ellison at Pan Books to illustrate his first book cover The Many Coloured Land by Sci-Fi writer, Julian May.The distinctive artwork used on the series that followed helped catapult Bradbury's career in illustration, and in 1982, he was awarded the Pan Books, Artist of the Year award.

For the next twenty years, Bradbury illustrated over 300 book covers, for all the major publishers in the U.K. and around the globe. Authors included, Arthur C Clarke, Sheri S Tepper, Alan Dean Foster, Barbara Hambly, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Rosamunde Pilcher, Barbara Erskine. Joanna Trollope, and many more. Mainly commissioned for his illustration and design work, his work has also appeared in galleries in the U.K. Most of his work in illustration was painted in gouache.

In 1996, Paper Tiger Books published, Reflections - The Art of Stephen Bradbury. Written by David J. Howe, the book contained well over a 150 examples of his book cover illustrations and private artwork and gave an exclusive look into his working methods and motivations.

Around 2000, Bradbury decided to give up doing commissioned work and to become a painter instead, painting large canvases in oils. As part of this process, Bradbury took a degree in The History of Modern Art, at Falmouth College of Art, where he had previously lectured. After a degree in the History of Modern Art, he started on a major series of paintings, which was to become the Facets Project. In recent years, Bradbury, with the help of master craftsman and church window restorer, Tony Fletcher at Porthleven Stained Glass Studio in, Porthleven, Cornwall has been making stained glass panels based on his own paintings.

A coastal painting by this artist is included in the permanent collection of St Michael's Hospital (SMH), Hayle.


Painter, illustrator, lecturer, stained glass maker

works and access

Works incl: Evening Light: Mullion Cove (acrylic on board)





misc further info

Respondent's form/WCAA file; 


Bradbury, S  (book) Facets

Howe, David J (1996) Reflections - The Art of Stephen Bradbury

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly;