MY STORY...

I am an artist living in Plymouth, England. 

Ever since I was a toddler I have loved drawing, painting and anything arty-crafty that I could find, even though no-one else in the family in which I was brought up was the least bit artistic. On one or two occasions when I was in the Infants School, my adoptive mother encouraged me to take a drawing or painting in to school to show my teacher, but I soon caught on that if I did, I would be asked to take it to show every single class in the school - not an enjoyable experience for a very shy 5 year old!

Throughout my school years art and craft continued to be my main hobby. I was told when it came to A level exams at age 18, that I had to take 3 academic subjects, and art did not come into that category. But I dug my heels in and informed my teachers that I would take 3 academic subjects, plus art as well. In those days it was not common to take art to A level, since it was not considered a "useful" or "serious" subject to study. And when it came to applying for college or university, I wanted to apply for Art College, but that was an absolute "No, no". Under no circumstances would a "respectable" young lady go to Art College, which was considered a den of iniquity and the precurser to a decadent or bohemian lifestyle!

One notable thing happened when I was 10 or 11 years old. A friend of my adoptive mother, who lived next door but one to us, bought me a set of oil paints for my birthday, and she spent some time teaching me how to use them. This was in the 1950s, when oil paints were very unusual (and acrylics hadn't been invented). I was delighted. Only in the last year have I discovered that this lady was my birth mother! She was very creative and also painted in oils and obviously wanted to encourage me to use my artistic talents. I never knew she was my birth mother, so I was bowled over by this recent discovery. But at least it made sense of my life-long desire to draw, paint and make things.

I became a teacher but art was not one of the subjects I taught, though there is hardly any period in my life when I did not dabble in painting as a hobby. At the age of 20 I went to evening classes at Birmingham College of Art. The tutor was brilliant and taught basic drawing skills which have been invaluable to me ever since. He told me I could be a professional artist by the age of 30, but I was just about to get married and start a family so I never did take steps towards art as a career.

In 1999, after my husband and I had retired, we moved to the west coast of Wales. There, inspired by the beautiful scenery, I started to paint landscapes. I was often asked to paint commissions for holidaymakers, who wanted to take their holiday memories home with them! At the time I painted mainly in pastels, but since I moved to Plymouth in mid 2014, I have experimented in other media, and currently use mainly acrylics, sometimes with collage and mixed media.

 

Colour has a strong emotional resonance for me, and such things as a sunset sky and the sparkle of sunlight on the sea always cause my spirits to rise. In particular, I am interested in the contrast of light and shade, dark and light. Strong defined colours are my favourites, and in general I avoid muted colours. I also find fascination in patterns and mechanical structures, and have done paintings of motor bikes, steam engines and the like. Flowers, still life, portraits, dogs, and occasionally also other animals, have been subjects for my paintings.

Do contact me if you like my work!

© 2018 by Jean Mintoft
All pictures on this web site are copyright. They may not be used in any form without permission of the artist.

jeanmintoftoriginals.co.uk