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Jo Starkey

Jo’s fresh and inspirational portrayals of meadow flowers and windblown grasses originate in her lifelong passion for nature and her experience of the Sussex landscape. Growing up in a rural environment gave her a great appreciation of the natural world and the countryside, which along with her love of art enthused her to become a floral and landscape artist.

Her father passed on his own artistic talent to Jo, but although she attended art college she is largely self-taught. She acquired and honed her skills as a mixed media artist by experimenting with different materials and harnessing new techniques which have evolved over the course of time.

Jo’s intention is to distill the essence of nature and its magic into her paintings, which she creates using mixed media on silk mounted on wood or paints directly onto the board itself She builds up layers using a range of different materials to create a three dimensional effect – a layering process which lends itself to the scenery that she paints, creating depth and texture which brings nature to life in each beautiful scene.

Jo likes to play with colour and this can dictate the composition of a painting. She spends all the time she can walking in the Sussex countryside and always has her camera to hand which allows her to capture a tableau as and when it happens. She says: “There are those moments where the sun creates a beautiful light glinting through wild grasses or meadows, or other times when it can be grey and mysterious, with light shining through the trees. I am drawn to colour and light, and I love the way nature is affected by the seasons and is constantly shifting and changing.”

Working from her own photographs, Jo enjoys putting her interpretation on a natural scene to give it a stylised, contemporary look. She cites her creative influences as Turner for his atmospheric use of colour, Klimt for the captivating originality and amazingly effective use of gold leaf, and the unique light that suffuses the paintings of the impressionists.

On a personal note, Jo recovered from a life threatening illness several years ago, which has both given her a new perspective on the world and made her cherish life, particularly those things that are most precious to her. After her recovery she found she was painting with a renewed fervour which she believes is reflected in the emotional intensity of her work, impacting on the richness of the finished composition.

Originally from Nottingham, Jo moved on to London before settling in the countryside of West Sussex in 2004. She has exhibited and sold her work at art galleries throughout the country and worldwide.

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