Jane Grey’s mother was a painter in oils. Turps and paint Jane says that irregularity permeated her life. She went to art school in the 1960’s to study an NDD but bunked out six months before finals in a fit of restlessness – she likes change…. but she never stopped drawing and painting from that day to this.
Jane Grey is obsessed with freedom, energy, the power of the mind – Freedom to be who or what she wants to be at any given moment, energy, as in subatomic particles which constitutes all matter and mind as in ‘if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter’. She also loves philosophy and metaphysics. She says: “I like to believe I can if I think I can and therefore anything I can imagine can exist or may do already in a parallel universe?”
She paints in any medium that suits the subject, preferring all forms of water media. Watercolour allows her to wash out what she doesn’t like; acrylic dries very quickly which requires spontaneity and to paint intuitively, giving the work energy.
Oil paint is easier because you can change your mind for up to about three days but it dries so slowly!
Most of her current work is now is started with acrylic ink. She uses transparent glazes to intensify colour or to’ push back’ a section and often add ancient symbols to represent the past – in time and philosophy. She may add collage for texture and nearly always thicker paint where it is felt to be necessary for interest or emphasis. She is more interested in process rather than destination, which is why I never plan a painting. It evolves – I call my style Organic Expressionism.
In her own words: “I don’t like repetition, linearity, or too much emphasis on logic – I call my own philosophy, ‘Ball of wool living’. Pressure to conform – I hate it – it is the homogenisation of society; my imagination – love it, humour – I love laughing, people who try to control me. I’ll stop!”
Jane Grey has exhibited widely in Cape Town, where she lived for 26 years, and in London at the Mall Galleries, Menier Gallery and Bankside and in galleries in Kent and Sussex. She has won several awards for drawing and painting.