Jo Lewis is a London painter whose direct landscape images explore the physical meeting of water, paint and paper with remarkable sense of space. The majority of her artworks are made outside using a natural source of water. Jo's abstract landscape works form a series of intimate portraits of a place; fragile in that they exist from a specific time and place, but bold and powerful in their immediacy.
Using ink and watercolour on watercolour paper, each piece of Jo's work is an exploration, a process of discovery into the colours, shapes and weathers of a landscape. Water is a constant in her work, to soak the paper, to wash it or even to be the surface on which colour is first applied before it meets the paper.
During her seventeen years of painting, Jo has found her main inspirations to be the outdoor environment and the medium of paint itself. "I love making work outside, and some of my paintings on the web were made on beaches and by rivers, incorporating the natural water source into the actual process of making the work," she says.
Jo is always trying to find new techniques and ways of applying the paint, and has recently been looking at different paint effects she encounters on walks around London. These include details of spray paint, accidental spillages on the pavement or old peeling paint on a door.
When creating her art, Jo likes every painting to be a new experience. "I want to take risks with it and not have a strong premeditated idea of what it is going to look like," she says. "I want to respond to the painting as it is being made and to embrace risk, accident, and the possibility of being surprised by the outcome."
Her work often has a very physical coherence, which comes from the fact that she makes a series of work in a specific location. This year Jo made a whole body of work on the Isle of Wight, among the same rock pools, on the same beach, and within a particular period of time.
Jo studied in Edinburgh and France and now lives and works in South London. In recent years she has studied with Maggi Hambling and has exhibited successfully in both group and solo shows. In 2003 and 2004 Jo was commissioned by Hermes to produce art works for the window displays of their Bond Street, Royal Exchange and Sloane Street London shops.
In 2003 Jo was awarded a Champions for Change Millennium Awards scheme for travel and subsequent exhibition at the Pump House Gallery London.
To view Jo's work please click here