Hi Jane, thank you for speaking with us. We are delighted to be showcasing a new collection of work here at our Cecil Court Gallery for your latest exhibition As I Am.

We know you are happiest when you are doing what you love, painting! Could you tell us a little about your process and how you might start a new painting?

“The first thing I do is find a subject that excites me. For The Retro Plate for example, I was taken by the bright red tomatoes and the contrasting geometric plate.”

The Retro Plate

The Retro Plate by Jane Hooper

“I then work on the composition, drawing straight on to the canvas in charcoal while referring to my sketch book or a still life I have set up. Once I’m happy with the outcome, I fix the charcoal and begin to paint.”

What techniques do you use to build up texture in your paintings?

“I like to work on a textured surface and will sometimes affix a thin layer of tissue paper on to the canvas which I then sand down to create more grain on the surface. For further interest and structure, I apply the paint thickly and use the brush to make marks in the oil.”

Orange Bunch
Orange Bunch by Jane Hooper

How do you know when to stop working on a piece?

“Once I feel I have finished a painting I like to turn it against the wall so I don’t look at it for a couple of days. When I turn it back around my first reaction determines whether I like the painting or if it needs more work.”

Jane Hooper_Two Fish
Two Fish by Jane Hooper

Are there any artists that have particularly inspired you throughout your career?

“When I first started painting, I was inspired by the work of William Scott. His pared down still life paintings of eggs, pots, pans and other everyday objects really motivated me to paint.”

Studio Image
Studio Image

“I never get bored of looking at his work, the bare table tops with a few chosen objects really appeal to me, as does his use of colour. I also admire the kitchen sink painters too; John Bratby, Peter Coker, and Jack Smith are equally exciting.”

Jane Hooper_Runners on willow plate

Leeks and Runners by Jane Hooper 

What does a typical day look like for you as an artist?

“I’m a bit of an early starter so I’m up around 6:00am and ready to take the dogs out for about an hour or so, it’s a great way to start the day for me. When I get back, I sort out any jobs that need doing before heading to the studio - I like to get behind my easel for about 9:30am.”

Jane Hooper in the Studio

Jane Hooper in the Studio

“If a painting is going well, I like to listen to music or an audio book while I work. If the painting is proving difficult however I can’t listen to a book as I find I miss big chunks of it while I’m concentrating on the painting which is not such a good idea! If I’m struggling, I might go out with the dogs again for a little while and quite often when I return, I can see where the problem lies. I finish up in the studio at about 5:00pm when the family come back through the door.”

Jane Hooper_Aubergine
Aubergines by Jane Hooper

The eCatalogue for Jane’s exhibition As I Am can be viewed here.