Kay Gretton


Kay working in her studio


Kay was brought up in Wiltshire, trained as a peripatetic teacher at Dartington College of Arts and taught in Kent, where she married and had three sons. She has lived in Maidstone since 1992.

She started painting in 2006, having suddenly developed M.E. and Fibromyalgia. This led to her losing her 26-year career as a manager, ‘cello/double bass teacher and orchestral conductor at Kent Music School. Having lost the ability to teach, play and conduct, her creativity has been redirected through art. She now shows her work at a large number of exhibitions, she sells widely and has won a number of art prizes, including:

        • Bluewater ‘Under the Rainbow’ 2021 Exhibition – Best in Show [of 1,000  exhibits] and Best Watercolour; 
        • People’s Choice Award at the Bentlif South-East Open Art Prize;
        • Kent Affordable Art Show; and
        • twice winning the Jess Beazley Watercolour Prize at the Wrotham Arts Festival.

Kay says: “I have found painting to be an inspiration, giving me a new lease of life at a time when I had lost all my self-confidence and purpose to my life. I’m sure that it has helped with my recovery as when I paint I am pain-free, although not necessarily afterwards!”

She works from life, photos and her imagination and uses watercolour, acrylics and pen & ink. She has developed a distinctive divisional style of painting depicting the changing of seasons through a year or the light as it changes through a day.