“My paintings are a distillation of my travels and life experiences. I call my style Organic Expressionism.
I am primarily a landscape painter. My art evolves from a fascination with energies beyond our vision, quantum physics and the ephemeral nature of our existence. I love the fact that we manifest from the Ocean of Consciousness, Primordial Soup, Universal Soul — call it what you will — in a perfectly ordered, miraculous body to live on the material plane for a fleeting moment in time.
To express this I start with the chaos of wet paper, poured paint and spontaneous mark-making.
My paintings are built up through many layers of different media and glazes as I try to express the depth and complexity that constitutes our journey through life. Out of this process emerge the images waiting to begin their short existence in this dimension of life. Each painting becomes a metaphor for my own experiences and beliefs.
My featured painting Dreams of the Past and Future incorporates images from my childhood and beyond. The little girl on the left is my mother as a child, and the canine figure in the centre is a symbol for our family dog, Ruffles. The palm trees represent 34 years of adventure in Rhodesia and South Africa, which perhaps are also part of my dreams of the future.
The Rage Of The Mountain God (right) is about what I imagine goes on under the surface of the mountains in the Western Cape. Chapmans Peak Mountain is featured here. There are jewels — I have found agate, amethyst and cathedral quartz — and the mountain throws large rocks down onto the road far below. My husband and I were married on that mountain, sitting next to a protea bush, looking out to sea. Heavenly!
Vibrant Silence II is about the essence of the Boland, a large farming area — hot, red, vast and silent — in the middle of South Africa.
My love of painting began when I was a teenager. My mother was an artist, and when I arrived home I would saddle up my horse and go looking for her, only to find her in the middle of the road with her easel, painting the reflections of a puddle. Routine didn’t exist in our household!
I attended Stourbridge Art School in the 1960s, worked in the Tate Gallery for a year, ran a framing factory in Kidderminster, and then absconded to Rhodesia where I continued making frames and doing life drawing. I even appeared on television in an art critique programme. We fled to Cape Town in 1976, and in 1996 I started painting seriously, exhibiting and teaching privately. Returning to the UK in 2004, I began again to establish myself in the art world. Onward and upward!”
Editor’s note: Jane Gray ASGFA has exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the Society for Women Artists, and in 2012 made it through the first selection round of the Threadneedle Prize. Jane’s painting Rite of Passage won the Award for a Highly Commended Work in Colour at DRAW 11, the Society’s 90th Annual Open Exhibition. She was elected an Associate Member of the Society the following year.
Jane continues to lead workshops and give demonstrations and teaches privately. For more about Jane and her art, please visit her web site at www.janegrayart.com and on Facebook http://facebook.com/janegrayart. To see Jane’s award winning painting and the other prize winners of DRAW 11 please click here.