T.J. Bridge was born in Miami, Florida in 1972, the son of two amateur painters. In this environment, Bridge began to experiment with watercolor and oil painting as early as 10 years of age. His first inspiration was the natural word around him, and he was particularly impressed with the extreme, opposite forms that this world can embody. He therefore concentrated on the peaceful oceans of the Florida coast, while also painting lofty mountains, barren desserts and floral, fertile pastures.
Along with this reverence for nature, Bridge holds a deep respect for Southern culture, and specifically for its self-taught artistic tradition. These two passions, for the natural world and Southern traditions, not only inspired Bridge to paint breathtaking naturalscenes, but to do so with a firm confidence that the self-taught artist's work is just as valid and potent as schooled, developed artwork.
Bridge moved with his family to Atlanta in the late 1980s, where he continued to research self-taught artand improve on his own skills. He soon attended the University of Georgiawherehe received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing. While greatly improving his craft as a painter, Bridge felt slightly unfulfilled by the removed and overly academic nature ofthe university setting. With this mindset, Bridge decided to take the better part of a year to travel the country, painting fast and instinctive renditions of the myriad landscapes.
During these travels, Bridge reconnected with the extremes and complexities of nature that had first inspired him, mixing the simple forms and lines of nature with its complicated content.
Today, Bridge works out of his private studios in both Atlanta and Athens, continuing to explore thediverse complexities of the natural landscape.