Jane Ford Exhibition 2018

Tuesday October 23, 2018

‘Observations of a Curious Nature’

Private View: Sunday 4th November 2018, 11am – 4pm.
The Exhibition continues until Saturday 24th November, 5pm.

It all begins with a random thought or a song that persists in my mind. I rarely sketch out the idea, rather jotting down words, thoughts, feelings and an idea of an animal or bird that may fit the scene.

The animal depicted in each painting has a history with its partner: foxes are placed with hens, owls with mice or voles. The paintings tell a story and the character of each animal is carefully researched for anatomical, historical, natural accuracy and, especially, the folklore surrounding it.

I love the concept of the underdog overcoming adversity and so many of my paintings feature a traditionally ‘prey’ creature outwitting a ‘predator’ in a role reversal context. Game birds alight on pies, chickens allure foxes, hares are transfixed by melancholia; all in a humorous context.

Jane Ford - The Chance of a Game
The Chance of a Game

Nostalgia also plays a large part in the process. As a child of the 50’s and 60’s I was always read to by my father – his tastes included Brer Rabbit, Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, lots of old fashioned heroes and villains and thwarted dastardly deeds!

My all-consuming passion for British wildlife, combined with that quirky, dark, Northern sense of humour, results in paintings in which the main subject is transformed from its natural pose into an unusual and, sometimes, intentionally obscure setting.

The imagination of connecting birds and animals with unrelated objects and with each other in unusual stories opens up endless possibilities for painting.

In the actual process of painting, I usually draw out on paper first to get the whole of the anatomy of the creature correct and to obtain a general feel for the composition. Next I trace it onto the canvas – a lengthy process but by the time it is completely drawn it is hopefully one hundred per cent accurate.

I use high quality fine oil paint, mixed with walnut oil to add ‘flow’; this choice lessens the risk of any ‘sinking’ of the colours; my method is generally referred to as ‘fat on fat’. My fine brushes are Yorkshire made; after a period of drying the finished painting is glazed.

The overall intention is to throw the onlooker off balance and into an unreal tableaux of events, leaving the viewer with a smile. The whole is brought together with the naming of the work – It’s all in the title.

Jane Ford 2018
© Fosse Gallery Fine Art 2018