"Jo" is internationally renowned for her enchanting, intricate fantasy images. Her artwork is found on puzzles, calendars, posters, stationery, journals, bookmarks, and much more. Fans say "Jo Wall's artwork is magic" and feel that simply viewing her surreal and romantic paintings inspires positive energy and a sense of wonder.
Jo says her work reflects her passion for nature and myth. "Much of my inspiration comes from observation of nature." She also credits the work of Arthur Rackham, Salvador Dali, René Magritte, and the Pre-Raphaelites as among those influencing her compositions. Her family provides inspiration as well — Jo and her husband Bob have five children and eleven grandchildren.
She works in an attic studio in a wisteria-covered cottage in Dorset in southwest England on the Channel coast. "The wisteria blooms every May; its fragrance combines with that of her bluebells to produce a gorgeous scent."
Jo says she decided to become an artist when she was four years old. "In fact, in my first little junior school we were each given boxes of wax crayons for 'drawing time' and even now the smell of wax crayons will bring back the memory of the happiness I felt.'' The artist says it has taken her a "lifetime" to learn to paint and develop her unique style of visual storytelling. She paints in acrylics and her paintings take from two to four weeks on average to complete.
Does she have a favorite color? "I do have many favorite colors which I am often drawn to, for instance all shades of lilac (which I often mix myself) and golden ochre, which is good for use as a wash to give an all-over glow. The only color I never use is black. My dark hues are created by mixing, for instance, burnt umber (a lovely earth color) with ultramarine blue. I also hardly ever use red. The nearest is burnt sienna or permanent rose."
Jo says she is always inspired. "Time is one of my greatest enemies; there are never enough hours in the day to paint all the images in my head. I feel I have a responsibility to keep painting as long as I am able, artists never retire. In fact, if I am away from my easel for too long I become restless and anxious to paint again.”
She feels creative people have a special appreciation of nature. "I believe it is due to their sensitivity and ability to observe more closely and be open to act as a channel for the energy of Mother Earth."
What does Jo think of current trends in fantasy? "I am very pleased to note that over the last few years there has been a marked popularity increase in 'fantasy' art. Maybe this is due to the very hard times that many of us find ourselves in . . . it provides some escapism, or perhaps it is just that people are now more willing to allow their inner child out! Children have never had a problem with accepting fantasy as a version of reality, and I think it is very important that as adults we still stay in touch with that reality. An interesting quotation from Ralph Hodgson: 'Some things have to be believed to be seen' — How true!"
You'll find much more about Josephine Wall at her Web site.
Information about Jo and featured blog post image are from her Web site and used with her permission. Photographs of Dorset, England © David Crosbie (top) and © Julian Elliott (second and third images) / Shutterstock.com.