Janet Tod

Vibrant still life paintings

Rated 5.0 out of 5
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England, SE8

Janet is known for her vibrant colourful still life paintings in the tradition of the Scottish colourists. Her subjects are classic still life objects such as vases, patterned textiles, fruits and flowers and sometimes birds as a symbolic, temporal presence. A graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Janet's commissions include prints for the P&O cruise liner Aurora and her paintings are in private and corporate collections and University of Dundee collection. Janet has had several successful exhibitions in London and exhibits throughout the UK including as a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute and Paisley Art Institute and takes part in the annual ‘RCA Secret’ exhibition. Her studio is open during Propeller Foundry Open Studios weekend.

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paintings, prints

Story and ethos

I have been a practising artist since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, in the early 70s. As a student I was privileged to be awarded a place at the 3 month summer school at Hospitalfield House (www.hospitalfieldhouse.org.uk) and after graduating was awarded a 1 year postgraduate international scholarship through the British Council to study painting at Belgrade University. Relocating to London in the late 70's I eventually obtained an ACME studio in the 80's and am still one of their tenants - now in The Propeller Foundry in Deptford.

Rarely do I 'set up' a still life in the studio. Flowers and fruit wither and decay, even in the depths of winter in a studio without heating, changing shapes and colours. Over the years I have developed the practice of drawing my favourite fruits, flowers, jugs, objects, etc to build up a visual memory and in more recent years the iPhone and iPad have become indispensable 'aide memoirs'. Deciding which colours to use can be triggered by any number of things - red pears or shocking pink and green dragon fruit in the supermarket, seeing someone in brightly coloured clothing or a bunch of vivid coloured flowers. I frequent charity shops and flea markets for jugs, fabrics and any objects whose colour, pattern or shape 'catch my eye' and may be the starting point for a painting. In recent years a favourite Japanese pot keeps cropping up in a number of paintings and I have become slightly obsessed with Chinese Ginger Jars. With my store of visual memories, studies on paper and iPad/iPhone I am free to compose paintings as and when I like, even in the depths of winter, using colours of my choosing.

The materials I use for oil paintings are traditional high quality paints - mostly from two sources Michael Harding and Old Holland (which still uses recipes from 1664 and in 2014 switched to a sustainable, environmentally friendly production process). Painting surfaces are in the main linen, but otherwise cotton, canvases and sometimes wood or boards (mostly offcuts). In recent years I have also made available archival prints of some paintings which are made by local printer Dulwich Prints and Printmaking - also a Blue Patch member. These are Archival quality, printed using fade resistant pigment inks, on Hahnmuhle William Turner, 100% rag, age resistant, paper which offer a more affordable source of my work. I also have a small range of greetings cards. I am happy to be approached to support charitable fundraising ventures and over the years regularly contributed to the Royal College of Art 'Secret' fundraising postcard sale, and also '100 Artworks Auction' for Kings College Hospital and 'Three 100 Fundraising Exhibition' at No Format Gallery in South London.

I plan to expand the Archival prints and greetings card ranges of my work to make it more affordable and accessible to a wider audience, and where possible to continue to use locally based companies. Once Covid-19 is under control the artist will be happy to arrange viewing of works at her studio by appointment.


Happy and colourful

Rated 5.0 out of 5
11 November 2020

We love Janet’s uplifting work and wonderful way of using colour.


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