A first glimpse at Brighton based artist Mary Jane Ansell’s work might make you think I made an error in the title of this feature: are these works truly paintings? I have to admit I was a bit confused when I first came across one of these paintings as well, they just seem to good to be true. Creating these super realistic portraits takes a lot of patience and technique, something Mary Jane has been practicing for years. Starting out with a sketch Mary Jane starts adding layers of oil paint to the canvas, reflecting what more the painting could need after every layer dries. You might not be surprised that it takes a while before a piece is finished, a large scale painting could take up to a year to complete.
The results are truly worth it though. Mary Jane is convinced she creates the best art with models she feels a connection with, often working with friends or family, or even people she spotted on the street. I believe the connection with the model really adds a layer of intimacy to these paintings, creating intimate and visceral portraits.
Thanks for reading! What do you think of Mary Jane’s work?