Born in Derby, England in 1954, James Brereton received his basic art training at Derby's Joseph Wright Art School. In 1979, he became a professional artist, specialising in marine subjects because of his life-long love of ships and the sea. "Not being sporty or academic, the only way to impress the girls was with painting and drawing..."
He usually works in oils; his favourite subject being deep water sailing ships of the nineteenth century. His work has been influenced by artists such as Montague Dawson and Thomas Somerscales and by living for a time by the sea on the south coast of England.