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Jane Birrell


I am always influenced by places lived in, or passed through and by memories and associations drawn from and collected by observing the landscape and the creatures in it. I have built a reputation for my colourist work and specifically, for a series of Highland Cow portraits. These were inspired by our move into the Aberdeenshire countryside 11 years ago, where we found ourselves living next door to a field of these beautiful, docile animals…. I passed each day walking our dog and became enthused by their amazing hairy coats and quirky characters. My education in woven and knitted textiles attracted me to their textural coats and I found myself painting them as if they were wall hangings. After an art teaching career spanning 32 years in Scotland and the Middle East, I am now concentrating on developing my own practice and this is constantly evolving.

I love experimentation and current works reflect both intuitive approaches and explorations in mixed media, from cold wax to spray paint to oils. The work on display for this Glasgow Art Gallery exhibition shows examples of work inspired by my travels, including my popular colourful animal portraits. I am also showing landscape paintings inspired by both my immediate coastal surroundings in the North-East of Scotland and rural pastures around our French cottage.

Education - Carluke Primary; Lanark Grammar; Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen DA; Northern College of Education PGCSE Taught Art & Design at – Hazlehead Academy, Aberdeen; Oldmachar Academy, Aberdeen; American Community School, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Canadian Colleges of Higher Education, Abu Ahabi, UAE; Dubai University UAE, Dubai College, The English College, Dubai, UAE, The British School Muscat, Oman; Portlethen Academy, Aberdeenshire.