Whilst Jo grew up in Birmingham, much of her childhood was spent along the coast of Devon and Cornwall where her parents, who are both practising artists, spent much of their time.
Jo has long been interested in exploring the place where elements meet – where the sea meets the shore; where land meets the sky. She has developed this by exploring the sharpness of close focus, contrasted with softer, blurred areas in her work. All this creates a sense of wistfulness and a haunting quality to her work.
Living on Sherkin Island on the West Coast of Ireland affords her a closeness to her preferred subject matter, the result of which is evident in how she captures a sense of place.
Jo takes references for her landscapes from the rugged coastline of West Cork and Kerry.
Her work does not assume to be an accurate representation of her subject matter and instead aims to explore the relationship between land and sea or land and sky.
Her deep love of drawing is evident as she states and re-states the complex geology and contours of the coast and landscape; her use of glazed layers, painting across defined lines creates depth and atmosphere.
Living on a small island whose permanent inhabitants number less than 100 gives Jo an opportunity to explore the history of the island through its lost dwellings.
Capturing these buildings at different stages of their demise and through the various seasons enables Jo to distort and explore the structures in different lights, to reflect their different moods.
Again, these works show Jo’s obsession with drawing: defining and re-defining line and tone, reflecting the changes in these stone structures as they have shifted in use, in completeness and finally have succumbed to Nature over time.
When not painting beautiful seas and landscapes or exploring decaying architecture, Jo's special love is to draw the flora in her immediate environment. These are her own personal records of the abundant flowers (both wild and cultivated), plants and trees in her garden and local hedgerows.
The majority of this work is in drawing form, as they are intense and intimate observations of plant life capturing their intimate patterns and formations, affected by the weather and environment through their cycle of growth and decay. Jo’s use of line, tone, scribblings, scratching and her employing an eraser as a positive drawing tool create drawings of great depth and atmosphere.