Jane Cope: ‘Dartmoor Blues’

‘Dartmoor Blues’, a painting of a Dartmoor landscape (oil and mixed-media on canvas, 50 cm × 50 cm), with tors rising against a grey-blue sky, green-brown vegetation in the middle distance and a striking bright blue stream and shadows in the foreground. The style is loose, with sketchy lines, bold brush and palette knife strokes, paint and ink splatters. Text from newsprint on layers below shows through in some places. Jane Cope’s signature is in the bottom-right corner.
Dartmoor Blues, 50 cm × 50 cm, oil and mixed media on canvas

Topsham-based Jane Cope is Devonstream’s latest cover artist with this painting, ‘Dartmoor Blues’.

Jane was a book illustrator for many years, so narrative pictures — images that tell a story — are her home ground. Whilst she experiments with more abstract painting forms, work often returns to this familiar territory.

Most of Jane’s painting work is oil and mixed media on canvas, often using newsprint as a basis for the painting. The words can also add a layer of meaning: sometimes the headlines are random, but sometimes deliberately chosen, and they peep through the picture we see on the surface.

Jane says:

“Dartmoor has been a part of my life for a very long time and I’ve done various paintings and sketches of it, but usually of specific places. This image is different. It’s an emotional snapshot, an inner memory of that landscape, an attempt to create a visual ‘feeling’ of the place.

“I usually start a painting by laying down newsprint, because I like the layers, texture and narrative quality it provides. It’s also something of a ritual process, a way of getting me started!

“My career as a book illustrator led me to styles and content that embrace anything from cartoon to natural history. I think this has made me comfortable to tackle a variety of subjects in my painting. Landscape, cityscape, things about climate change, or just playful ideas that pop into my head, may all resolve into a painting.”

Find out more about Jane and her work at janecope.co.uk.

If you’re a Devon-based visual artist and you’d like us to consider your work as future Devonstream cover artwork, drop us a line at hello@devon.stream.