What is your earliest memory of an artwork and who was it by?
When I was a child my parents had a large print of one of Henri Rousseau’s jungle paintings. I loved the mood of it with the mysterious image of a man and leopard, the red sun and dark greens and blues of the overgrown jungle. I must have asked about it as I remember being told that the scene was unrealistic as the scale of the plants was so exaggerated, and that Rousseau had never been to the jungle. I think I realised that if you are an artist you can make a picture anything you want it to be. When I was on my Foundation course I did my final project based on that painting and it is not hard to see a direct link to my work now.
What is your favourite time of day to be in your studio?
I like the time when I first get in there in the early morning, with the promise of the day ahead, especially if I’m working on the first stages of a painting, deciding on the colours and working loosely and quickly. My paintings are usually made up of about six layers - becoming more careful and detailed as they progress.
|Detail from In a halcyon sea, 2011, (oil on canvas),Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images||Flying duck, 2013, (oil on canvas),Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images|
Talk us through a day in the life of Jane Tattersfield. What does a day in your life look like?
I usually start the day with a quick look at my emails and get any boring admin out of the way as soon as possible. I go to my studio at the end of the garden, and if it’s a beautiful sunny day I open the door, and all the windows, and it feels like I’m working outside. I have the radio on as it helps me concentrate, and it’s amazing what you pick up listening to Radio 4 and Radio London all day! I might be beginning a new design, so drawing the different elements, scanning them and composing an image on the computer. Or creating repeat patterns from original paintings for my cushion and silk scarf range. Painting is my favourite thing, and hopefully, if I’m having a good day, I get totally engrossed and loose all track of time.
How would you sum up your practice in 5 words?
Colourful, structured, uplifting, varied, exciting.
|Noah's Ark, 2010, (oil on canvas),Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images||Blue Parrot, 2015, (oil on canvas),Jane Tattersfield/ Private Collection / Bridgeman Images|
Your work is instantly recognisable from the bold colour choices you make- your work really springs off the page. What inspires the colour palettes in your paintings?
I’m inspired by colour everywhere and take photos of unusual colour combinations. My main influence is India. I’ve been to Rajasthan and recognised the rooms in the palaces I visited from the books I’d been obsessed with - it felt like coming home as I knew them so well. Years ago I bought a book of Howard Hodgkin’s collection of Indian paintings and it’s been my most used book for inspiration, although it’s looking very scruffy now.
I love fashion and textiles and am greatly influenced by Kaffe Fassett, Christian Lacroix and Zandra Rhodes, amongst others. I can’t walk past a haberdashery shop without going in, especially VV Rouleaux, where the ribbons are incredible and I’ll often buy half a metre and pin it up in my studio for inspiration.
I get ‘The World of Interiors’ each month, which is always fantastic, and obviously go to as many exhibitions as I can. I’m inspired by the colours used by Chris Ofili, David Hockney, Klee, Redon and Vuillard and am looking forward to seeing the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at Tate Modern
As an illustrator I combined gouache and Dr Martin’s inks to get the strongest, most saturated colours I could. Now nothing beats the intensity of oil paints.
|Detail from Under the shade of melancholy boughs, 2011, (oil on canvas), Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images|
Flying Indian roller bird, 2013, (oil on canvas), Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images
Which processes inspire your work?
I enjoy inventing exciting patterns when playing around with my images in Photoshop. Clashing colours and patterns. Buying and trying new oil paint colours. Overlapping different elements and trying to create a 3D effect with layers of translucence. Having my images printed onto different materials such as cotton and silk.
What has been your most exciting commission or award to date?
I don’t work to commission as much as I used to as I now produce paintings and products that I go on to sell. Years ago I did a lot of work with Channel 4 TV. I illustrated the ‘India File’ which was a series of paintings for an Indian story where the camera scanned across the images to a narration. I also did a couple of large maps for a children’s programme called ‘Jungle Run’ which was great fun.
How do you find working to commission? Do you find it pushes your work in new directions?
I do like working to commission and when I was a book illustrator I enjoyed reading all the different material I was given to illustrate, which could vary from Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’ to the life of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. Recently I’ve been working on designs for needlepoint canvases for the US market and have had to adapt and simplify my style. I’m also developing new products with a company in China, and they have chosen to use my more abstract images of faces.
Digital or Analogue?
Both. I always begin each project with drawing and painting, then use the computer as a tool to distort and repeat images.
Which other artists, dead or alive would you choose to have dinner with?
Picasso, Kaffe Fassett, Andrew Wyeth, Edmund Dulac, Seraphine Louis, David Hockney, Josef Frank and Dries Van Noten.
What convinced you to join Bridgeman Studio for licensing, and what are your hopes for working as a Bridgeman Studio artist?
I hope to access a larger audience, and have my images used worldwide.