Elected 1993


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Kathie embarked on a career in education after an NDD at Loughborough College of Art and an Art Teachers Diploma at Leicester College of Art. She taught Art art in Leicestershire Secondary schools, FE colleges and De Montfort University and was an examiner of ‘A’ Level Design for Oxford University Board of Examiners for 8 years. As a member of Leicester Drama Society and Leicestershire Youth Theatre, she designed sets, costumes and publicity, as well as directing and appearing in many productions.  

Kathie Layfield's major achievement was being invited to illustrate Ladybird Books as a freelance illustrator from 1975 to 1984. She worked on 28 books and co-wrote two about Drawing and Painting.  She took part in Book Fairs and gave talks to school and art societies nationally.  A solo exhibition of her illustrations was held at Charnwood Museum, who now possess many of her illustrations in their Ladybird Archive.

Kathie took early retirement from teaching in order to pursue her career as an independent artist, illustrating book jackets and taking commercial projects for local printing companies.  She undertook portrait commissions, including a portrait of the then Lord Mayor of Leicester, Bob Wigglesworth. Reluctant to relinquish her interest in teaching, she ran drawing and painting courses and workshops aided by her husband in the Lake District, France and in Leicestershire at Whatton House and Brooksby Hall. Solo shows of Kathie Layfield's work took place at Vaughan College, Little Theatre, Leicester and Frank Haynes’ Gallery in Great Bowden. Her work is represented in the permanent collections in Leicester Museum & Art Gallery and Leicester University and held in private collections in Britain, USA, South Africa, Italy and Russia.