IN THE FIELD
© Jane Milloy
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There are two sides to Jane’s work – finished paintings and a multitude of drawings and ideas that fill her sketchbooks. These may be worked up to a final painting or used in part or wholly as reference material but they stand on their own too. Each captures a moment, posture, interaction, a movement, light and shadow, special colours, sometimes nothing more than a few hurried, scribbly lines, but each with the freshness and immediacy than only drawing in the field from life can produce.
Jane takes every opportunity to observe and understand the lives of her subjects - on this occasion puffins on Lunga.
Below are a couple of pages of puffin sketches from her sketch book from that visit.
Jane’s Own Comments
“ I have always been a walker, or rather a wanderer. My walks are as much about the stops as the walking - I don’t walk for exercise, I walk for pleasure. They also tend to have no distinct direction or purpose and some of the best observations and experiences are those I have just stumbled upon. Usually, these have come when I least expect them. No matter when I go out, whatever the weather, time of year or location, I always find something to inspire me. I keep a little spiral bound sketchbook in my pocket and make quick drawings in it. This is what I refer to as my “shorthand” - jottings that I can refer to at a later date and that have key points that will stimulate my memory.
I am very lucky in that I can retain images and information in my mind for long periods of time - that is if they interest me. Ask my husband – I can’t remember to keep enough clean socks washed or to put the wheelie bin out on a Friday, but I can recall in minute detail the image of a peregrine sitting on a rock ledge, right down to where the shadows fell across its chest and the exact colour of its back where the sun struck it. It’s all about priorities! Who could argue that a peregrine is far more worthy of brain space than socks or wheelie bins?
Sometimes I don’t sketch but just watch, absorbing as much as I can and then decanting it out of my memory and onto the page when I get back to the studio. I am lucky to live in an area with a great variety of habitats and wildlife providing me with endless artistic opportunities”.