Born in Hermosa Beach, California, Judi Bright's first documented success in ‘fine art’ was in 8th grade. Each student in class was instructed to produce a poster for Halloween. The winners would be painting a large version of their poster in the windows of storefronts downtown near the pier. With no expectation of winning, she was among those chosen! So, in the front window of the Buster Brown Shoe Store, inexperienced and scared to death, the eighth-grader painted her witch, black cat & goblins flying in and out of the eyes, nose and mouth of a huge smiling jack-o-lantern! Despite the excitement around this event, it did not light any artistic fires.
Bright spent many more years around talented, creative people yet it didn’t occur to her that she might have some leaning toward the arts. One of her father's hobbies was drawing beautiful patterns and tooling them onto leather and copper. She marveled at his work and utensils that were housed in a magnificent tool box on a workbench in the garage. He also decorated his scrapbook with intricate pencil drawings of ropes and other western motifs. Her grandmother ‘tinted’ black & white portraits of countless people over the years and, while still very young, took many secret forays into the 'tinting room' just to look at the tiny pots of jewel-like colors and brushes. Bright's older sister took art classes in high school, turning out some rather impressive pieces that she admires to this day. In the early 1960’s Bright, her father, and sister moved to Newport Beach and then to Laguna Beach, California. Known as an ‘art colony’ then and even now, Laguna is famous for its Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters.
Despite all this influence, Bright's interests were in her high school athletics and a suntan. Marriage and motherhood took care of the next few decades, as well as a move to Idaho. With her second marriage, Bright and her husband, Frank, became business owners for the next 20 years. Then, after selling the business and retiring in 2004, she dove into testing her creative side. All of her adult life had included a multitude of needlework projects but, now gifted with more free time, she felt there was more to be discovered. By this time her oldest son, while in high school, had won some fine art competitions in the community of McCall, Idaho, also known for its art culture and Winter Carnival’s outdoor ice sculptures. With this motivation, she bought an art instruction book; actually, a whole bunch of books at the local craft store, some meager supplies and tried a few watercolor pieces. One of those early tries is still her husband’s favorite. Wanting to experiment further and find the medium that best fit her temperament, she moved from watercolor to acrylics then on to pastels and colored pencil. Having found positive moments in all of those methods, she feels best suited with pastels and colored pencil. She finds great joy in trying to make things look real, knowing there is always going to be much to learn. Bright understands that without formal training or mentoring, except for her videos and books, her progress may have been slowed but the pleasure and challenge of being self-taught is unsurpassed.