Jane Kell is a colourist working within the tradition of realism, who pushes the boundary with colour and form to achieve a semi-abstract quality in her work. She paints ‘alla prima’ directly onto the canvas with no preliminary drawing using handmade oil colours made with natural pigments and enjoys the physical quality of the paint and spontaneity of this method.
Jane is British but lives in the US. She paints full-time in her studio in Washington DC, inspired by the surrounding landscape and the simple domestic details of life. The effect of light on water and the colours in nature are recurring themes, but also just something casting a shadow on the kitchen table can be a starting point. She has always loved still-life and the British painters William Nicholson and Euan Uglow were early influences. In 2019 she will be working on a series of still-life paintings for a solo show in October at the Old School Gallery in Northumbria, in the UK.
Jane is essentially untrained although both her parents were painters, and she admits while growing up the thought of painting was always in the background, it just took a while to surface. She has a BA Honours in the History & Theory of Art from Essex University and worked for many years in PR. It was while working at the National Gallery in London as Head of Press, she felt the time was right for her to try her hand at painting. By this time Jane was clear about how she wanted her work to look, and that she wanted to paint with oils, so she bought some paints and finally made a start.
In 2018 Jane was commissioned by the Belmond Cadogan Hotel to paint a series of eleven large abstract paintings which would form the centrepiece of the bedrooms and suites in the newly re-opened luxury hotel. The paintings were bold and intensely coloured and have provided a new direction.