Jane Kell — ARTIST

Jane Kell

Jane Kell

An interview with artist Jane Kell who will be exhibiting her latest work as part of the New Artist Fair in London, from 8-10 September —


1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am a full time painter working from my home studio in West London. The main focus of my work is colour and light and, although I started out as a figurative painter and still paint landscapes and still life, I am finding that as my work develops it is becoming more abstract.


"London Night Sky"

“London Night Sky”


2. Why art?
Both my parents are painters so I grew up surrounded by art and the paraphernalia of painting. Although as a child I was always interested in art – I drew and painted all the time – I decided not to go to art school and study art history instead. I don’t regret that decision because it means I have had a lifetime of looking at paintings. It gave me a long gestation period before actually picking up a paint brush and producing my own work which, I think, has benefited from all that looking! When I started painting with oils, it felt very natural and I knew straight away how I wanted my work to look.


"Bowl and Table"

“Bowl and Table”


3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I suppose it has always been in the back of my mind; I remember being a pre-school age child and going into my parents’ studio and loving the atmosphere and smell of oil paint and turps and feeling very at home in that environment.


"The Pool"

“The Pool”

4. What are your favourite subjects and media?
I am attracted to subjects with dramatic light and colours – it could be a landscape or a still-life. I recently worked on a series of paintings using colour to capture the effect of light on water– some are landscapes with natural water features, others are swimming pools in sunlight. I love painting with oil and always use very good quality paints made with pure natural pigments as I enjoy the flexibility of their slow drying time, and also the texture.



"The Pool II"

“The Pool II”

5. How do you work and approach your subject?
I usually take a series of photographs which I use as initial reference material and as a starting point, and then work ‘alla prima’, painting straight on to the canvas with no preliminary drawing. I map out the canvas with a big paint brush and delineate the major shapes and then work into this and build up layers of colour to develop the painting. I try very hard not to overwork the paintings and keep the initial freshness.



"The Pool III"

“The Pool III”

6. Do you have a favourite art work or artist?
I have many favourite artworks and artists but there are artists who I continue to refer back to and who will probably always be an influence on me. I especially love Richard Diebenkorn, an American painter who works both in abstract and figurative. I also greatly admire the landscapes of Joan Eardley, a Scottish expressionist painter.



7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
It’s exciting when you see people connect with your work – and it is very gratifying to realise that you are producing something that people want to hang on their walls at home. You have to really love something to want to live with it everyday.


"After the Rain"

“After the Rain”


8. What do you like about your work?
I like that my work is becoming more confident and bold. I started by painting carefully staged, small and intense figurative still-life studies. These days I tackle a far broader range of subjects and often work on canvases that are a metre square (or even bigger) and I enjoy the freedom of working on a larger scale.

9. What advice would you give to other artists?
To use only the very best materials and to always follow your instinct – to paint what you want and to enjoy what you do. It will show in your work.


"City Lights"

“City Lights”


10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Still painting, but possibly in a bigger, purpose-built studio space which would allow me to work on multiple large canvases. Also, I recently participated in my first artist residency and I would love to do another longer residency as I found the immersion in painting and working with other artists really inspiring.

Jane Kell will be exhibiting at the New Artist Fair, Old Truman Brewery, London, from 8 to 10 September 2017.





Jane Kell



Artfinder:  https://www.artfinder.com/artist/jane-kell/me-at-work/#/