Sally Jones

Manx Artist in Cornwall


A cliché: I really enjoy painting people and animals. My preference is for the subject to be in a working environment, or alternatively just not looking staged. For me it’s really important to have an emotional response to what I’m going to paint - and I think it’s probably true (okay, definitely it’s true!) to say I am hugely interested in a wide range of things. Bringing that curiosity and excitement into my work I think is really important for communication with the viewer.


I paint to share what I feel about something. It might be the agility and focus of a working sheepdog, or the awesome courage and teamwork of a horse and rider clearing a big hedge. The more I paint, the more I feel that none of us actually see the world the same and it is a special joy to find that a painting I’ve done can form a bond of communication with someone.

It’s a constant challenge to find scenes with that lighting that says: "paint me", but it’s such fun looking for it; the sudden shocks of colour that make your breath catch for a moment and lifts your heart, makes you glad to be alive. Many people can hear music; I try to capture the poetry, the grace and rhythm of line or movement that I see around me. Nowadays it is part of my life to try to spot that moment when the ordinary suddenly feels extra-ordinary, inspiring me to think: "I’ve just got to paint this."


My preferred medium is either charcoal for drawings or oil on stretched canvas/linen. I can’t really comment too much about charcoals – my favourite stopped being made some years ago – but I generally use willow charcoal for my initial drawing and then build up the image using soft charcoals.

For painting, I mostly use Winsor & Newton artists’ quality paints, although I also use some Old Holland, for colours like Kings Blue, which is a favourite. Most artists use a restricted palette but I first started painting in oils with a large number of paints out, my rule of thumb: "if it isn’t out, you can’t use it." It’s a habit I would like to break – probably tomorrow. My paintings tend to be built up in layers, possibly with a tonal underpainting if there’s good contrast in the image, and then slowly adjusting the painting as I work around the whole canvas, developing it as a whole. To concentrate on a particular passage, I may work with the canvas upside down or on its side if I am working off reference photographs, as it can help me concentrate on what is really there, rather than what I’d expect to see. Not quite so useful when painting from life.

I normally prefer to work with three or four paintings on the go at any one time, ideally each at a different stage of progression to suit my mood on any given day, and of different subject matter to keep each one fresh.

English Blue

“English Blue”

Blue Sheep

“Blue Sheep”

Address The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire GL54 1AF

Telephone number 01451 831399

Opening Times
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm
Wednesday by appointment
Friday from 11.00am to 5.00pm
and from 11.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday