Jane was born in London in 1953 and studied fine art at Hornsey College of Art ( 1970 – 1974) and post graduate at the Slade School of Art ( 1975 – 1978). 1977 Awarded the Slade prize. She worked at the BBC as a scenic artist for a year before becoming a full time lecturer at the Slade.
Her work is highly individual though there are echoes of Chardin, Ingres, Balthus, Paula Rego, and Japanese and Classical Greek painting.
Jane uses traditional techniques, oil on flax canvas, first underpainting then glazes, and a fairly restricted palette of earth colours and white lead. Jane also works in pastels and charcoal on handmade paper. Jane studied etching at the Slade under Bartolomeo dos Santos which has proved hugely influential in her work. Santos’ attention to composition and technique have had a lasting effect. Jane also became fascinating by Goya’s etchings at that time.
Jane says of her painting ‘ I do not dream, my paintings are waking dreams. The pictures are a personal narrative of visual, musical and physical obsessions’. There are various elements that occur regularly in her work, masks - fetishistic and revealing sexuality or else lifted to show a veiled face. Cats, still lifes of fruit or geometrical shapes, pieces of classical sculpture, wings, heads and half torsos.
Jane Lewis’ paintings have been reproduced on the covers of 21 books of poetry published by Bloodaxe Books and in Mslexia Magazine (a journal of women’s literature.)
Jane exhibits regularly with Portal Painters in London and at all the major UK Art Fairs.