"My art is the stuff of dreams. I explore the world of fantasy with the finest details played out on paper. Like actors in wonderful dramas, sailors, musicians, young love, and the like play out their stories on a flat stage in settings that are as decorative as their costumes." Jane Parkes.
Me and My Art.
I trained as a music teacher, gaining B.Mus.Ed and Dip. Mus at Newcastle University Conservatorium. I won the Keith Noake Prize for Student of the Year in my final year – this was on my special interest instrument – the harpsichord. I would love to paint one!
For the past 22 years, I have taught Music and a little bit of art at Newcastle Grammar School. I love teaching. From childhood, I have drawn, painted and enjoyed making things. Art has always been of utmost importance in my life. I find refuge here.
My pictures are naive and very detailed. I suppose they could be described as fairy stories. When I pick up a paintbrush, I enter into my private world. In there, everything is calm, safe and beautiful. There is whimsy, perfection and happiness. Whilst painting, I am completely focused on colour and the creation of a harmonious world for my characters.
I use gouache on paper and sometime a sprinkling of gold leaf. I have chosen to reproduce my originals using a process called giclee. The quality always astonishes me and to make each limited print my own again, I retouch it with gold and white. A growing range of cards and limited editions are available on this website.
I have had two successful exhibitions at the Cooks Hill Galleries 1998 and 2010. I have exhibited annually at the Newcastle Grammar School Nexus exhibitions for the past 10 years. I have completed many commissions over the years and enjoy this process very much. These include individuals (young and old), beautiful homes, pets, poems, song lyrics, many many little girls and boys, ballet dancers, farmers, golfers etc etc.
“My art is the stuff of dreams. I explore the world of fantasy with the finest details played out on paper.
Like actors in wonderful dramas, sailors, musicians, young love, and the like play out their stories on a flat stage in settings that are as decorative as their costumes.
I cannot rest until I am utterly enchanted by the final product. Do enjoy my lil pictures.”
Most of the subjects in her art are inspired by fantasy and escapism, removed from a lack of humanity, cruelty, uncaring – all real concerns for Jane and present in this world.
Explore Jane’s world, where her imagination reigns creating places that vibrate love and kindness.
I have known Jane Parkes (or JP as she refers to herself) for decades and she remains the same upbeat personality. Her life and world is often perceived as make believe! Or is it a cover? I have decided I don’t care!
Jane’s figurative paintings, set in a fantasy world could be considered theatrical. I do know the time spent on developing her compositions is of little care to Jane because when she is art making she is completely fulfilled and taken to a place which provides comfort!
Jane’s exacting and considered compositions reflect a high degree of skill and control, which she has developed with the gouache medium.
Jane’s inspiration commences with an image which creeps into her consciousness “a shape or a wall paper design; the ideas develop”.
Jane has an appreciation of all things art and the joys of life including music, art teaching, theatre, acting, animals, people and their care etc. Her paintings, often drawn from her fantasy life of thoughts and dreams are also based upon life’s experiences and happenings.
Jane Parkes is an artist who is true to herself in both style and subject matter. Her works are almost autobiographical in that they combine many facets of her life. The lyrical quality of her imagery could possibly stem from her other love, music. Jane is constantly surrounded by children and is able to draw on their unaffected attributes and translate these qualities into her own visual language. With a great understanding of the elements of design Jane is able to manipulate colour, shape and line to create successful artworks that still retain the whimsical characteristics that make her work unique.
Margaret McBride (PhD in Fine Art Theory)