The life and work of Jane Price

Jane Price is an accomplished Adelaide born artist. FIFTY+SA spoke to her recently about her background and her career as a full-time artist.

Born and bred South Australian, Jane Price is now a Melbourne-based visual artist. Jane’s artwork is extensive, including sculpture, portraits of prominent wine industry figures, abstracts and landscapes.

We spoke to her about her background in advertising and how she moved into working as an artist full-time. Bursting with ideas and with sights on new adventures, Jane is an accomplished and talented artist.

How did you initially become interested in art?

I won the Year 12 Art Prize at Seymour College so naturally went into a Bachelor of Visual Communication at UniSA. It was here I learnt to draw and I remember giggling the first time we did life drawing. We must have given the male models complexes because we giggled all the way through the class. But eventually we got used to it and after a few sessions it was just like drawing a couple of apples and a banana. I loved the creativity of all the lessons that we studied like the history of art so it ignited a fire in my belly for becoming an artist.

I loved the creativity of all the lessons that we studied like the history of art so it ignited a fire in my belly for becoming an artist.

Can you tell me about your career as an art director?

After completing a Degree in Visual Communication at Uni SAi went to Sydney and worked as an Art Director doing TV commercials for fashion and other clients. I then travelled to London and worked for an Advertising agency there doing wonderful photo shoots with kittens for Whisks campaigns.

What have been some of your career highlights?

Winning second prize in the Waterhouse Natural Science Prize at the South Australian Museum was a definite highlight, winning $5000. Being a finalist 7 times in the Waterhouse Art Prize was fantastic and People’s Choice winner at Loreto Spring Art was extremely rewarding.

How did your career evolve from art director to full-time artist?

It got to the point where I was sick and tired of the stress and long working hours of Advertising. So, I thought long and hard about what I really love to do and that led me to becoming a full-time artist. I was fortunate enough to make a living from it straight away and I have never looked back.

How has your artistic style evolved over the last two decades?

I started out painting graphic images on raw linen in beiges and white which were very popular and then I transitioned to large abstract seascapes on canvas. About 10 years ago I started to focus heavily on sculpture – which is my passion.

Have you encountered any challenges throughout this time, and if so, how did you overcome them?

When I was a finalist in the Waterhouse Art Prize at the SA Museum one year I was taking out my entry, of a bird’s wing made from a branch and skeleton leaves, to the car. I heard this loud growl and suddenly my dog jumped through the air and took a huge bite of the wing. It was a challenge to fix it in time but it all ended up well.

Also COVID should have proven to be a time of challenge but on the contrary it was when people were making purchases of art because they had money to spend because travel was out of the question. I have been very lucky.

How has the art industry changed since you first started your career?

I first sold my work at Tangest in Norwood, SA and people were looking for large paintings that went with their neutral homes so I did a lot of white, grey and beige and textural artworks to compliment their homes. Lately, I have noticed people are more drawn to colour so my paintings have evolved.

Can you walk us through your creative process?

I think about an idea for anywhere from a day to a few months then put it into action. With my bronze busts I stare at a photo of the person and then start to play with clay until it looks like the subject. It is extremely rewarding to complete a bust then take it to Tim Thompson in the Adelaide Hills to be cast.

How do you stay motivated and continue to produce new artwork?

Motivation has never been an issue for me as I am always bursting with new ideas and always seeking to improve my skills through doing art courses.

Looking back on your career as an artist, is there anything you would have done differently?

The only thing I can think of is that I would have made sure I had met John Dowie the Adelaide sculptor before he died. He is one of my all time favourite artists and I would have bought one of his artworks from him.

Motivation has never been an issue for me as I am always bursting with new ideas

If you’re not creating art, where could we find you and what would you be doing?

I would be an actress. I have done lessons with SA Casting for a few years and have loved every second of acting. I also have a film script in me and I will work on it this year and next. It is a pipe dream but I give things a go.


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