The artist Jane Cornwell was born in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She studied an undergraduate degree at Boston University and then lived in Paris for nearly six years where she attained a License Universitaire at the Sorbonne. Although art was not initially her primary area of focus she did take some classes in figure drawing, printmaking and photography. Living in France gave the artist a wider perspective on the world and later the culture of Northern California, where she now lives, fostered an interest and engagement in Buddhism and meditation. After working as a French teacher and undertaking graduate level work in clinical psychology, Jane Cornwell returned to art making which has been a major focus for several decades. These rich and varied life skills inform and fuel her art practice. A favourite Mark Twain quote which resonates for the painter is 'History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes'. In the scheme of things these varied experiences form the composition of her life and there is a resonance between them that informs her artwork.
Jane Cornwell's work is guided by exploration, curiosity and intuition. It's fuelled by concepts and ideas about what the artist is making. It is very much about finding her way through the artistic process. She uses a variety of different media and formats. Jane Cornwell is drawn to experimentation and discovery through the physicality of creating via painting, collaging, paper constructions, mark-making, erasing, tearing things apart and combining materials together. It is action that defines the artworks as the painter works quickly with her hands without forethought which opens up unexpected pathways via the process of making. It is an investigation into discovering and learning, re-discovering and re-learning. The artworks, whether painted or collaged, through a process of layering are built up into rich, tactile surfaces as actions and marks overlap and interrupt one another in a battle for our attention.