Born in the UK in 1969, Jane Worthington studied Art and Design at the Cumbria College of Art (1986-1988) and thereafter at the De Montfort University, Leicester, England (1988-1991), where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree B.A (Hons) in Industrial Design. (for background information see www.janeworthington.com
With 25 years of experience Jane Worthington has worked as designer at the forefront of the Design World for leading brands in the industry.
Building on this experience, 2017 sees the opening of her own studio, specialising in oil on canvas portraiture.
Jane Worthington paints photorealistic portraits in oil on canvas. She works from a photograph of her subject wearing a favourite item of clothing, this can be highly patterned or uni coloured. Naturally the choice of colour should take into account where the painting is intended to hang. She then makes a composition where the pattern in the clothing or colours are repeated in the background. This creates the effect that the person is less stand alone and more homogeneous within the painting. Her end results are dynamic and powerful in their composition and subtle, artful and skilled in her approach to portraiture. This combination is significant in her work and has become her signature style.
Q. Are you a designer or an artist, how do you define yourself?
A. To answer that question you need to understand the difference between Art and Design. Art can be self-indulgent, whereas Design needs to meet a strict criteria and fulfil the purpose it was created for. What I do is never self-indulgent, I always create with the customer/client in mind. In this respect, everything I do, I design.
Q. Why the choice for your own online gallery?
A. I wanted to be more in control of my own processes, of what I make and for whom. In the corporate world and in the "designer" world, what you make is influenced by, and dependent on very many other factors. These factors in the end determine what you make and for who. I wanted to be free of that. I want to orchestrate and manage my own creative process.
Q. Is this new or have you been working towards this for a long time?
A. I've always painted. It was my love of Art that caused me to study at the Cumbria College of Art. Recently I've been producing artwork/paintings for high-end Branding, Advertising and Marketing purposes, so it's been there all along really.
Q. Why the choice for oil on canvas portraiture?
A. I think it's an area with little experimentation and little imagination. There are a few pioneering portrait artists who are the exceptions to this rule, however generally speaking, portraiture is old fashioned and boringly predictable. This is because most portrait painters are only focusing on their old-school skills, for them art is about their expertise. They strive to be the best, but they miss the creative vision to implement their skills in a way which is totally their own. When looking at the visual arts, and by this, I mean portraiture, it seems to have got lost in time. On top of that, portraiture has always fascinated me, I've always preferred to paint people above all other things.
Q. To name a few, you have painted portraits for the Dutch Royal Family and of Andre Rieu. It's not easy to be commissioned as an artist to paint for Royalty, yet they approached you.
A. Indeed, it was very unexpected, a real honour and an amazing experience. I was asked to paint the portraits of the two children of Prince Friso and Princess Mable. However, you won't find any information about this anywhere, it was a private commission, completed in confidentiality. The paintings hang in the family home.
Q. Which techniques do you use to create your portraits?
A. In the past I've tried many techniques, both old and new. For the portraits I'm combining CAD design/multi-media and traditional painting techniques. I mix and blend the colours of my oil paint using the traditional "alla prima technique" which was used by the old masters and impressionists. However, I don't just sit in front of a blank canvas and think what shall I do today! I brainstorm my ideas, no differently to if I design them. It's actually quite a technical process, for each canvas there are many hours behind the computer creating the comprehensive image files needed for the compositions. Once I'm happy with the final composition I start to paint. It's a time consuming process, each artwork is original and created entirely by my own hand.
If you are looking for a traditional portrait, made in the traditional fashion, from sittings, or any other old drawing techniques, then this is not it. It does not intend to compete with the old-school painters. It leans much more towards new media than the classical methods. I take the old techniques and recast them using all the aids of modern technology. Art, design, photography you name it, it has become clever, sophisticated, the possibilities are almost limitless. I embrace the modern technology and present it in my work with a historical link.
This is what makes this special. This is my own form of artistic expression. My starting point is different and therefore the outcome is too.
View the gallery by Jane Worthington.