Jo Starkey


ingénu/e magazine winter issue’s cover artist Jo Starkey

Jo recently moved her studio to the Turner-Dumbrell Workshops in Ditchling. We met her last year and wanted to feature her colourful work. Here she tells us about herself, her work, and her recent move.

Jo Starkey, Jewelled Canopy

Jo Starkey, Jewelled Canopy

You come from an artistic family background and you trained as a dancer early in your life. What specific creative influences did you have in those very young days?

Well my father was a very talented artist, and so I think it runs in the genes. And with regard to dancing, I think it’s every little girl’s dream to become a ballerina. My interest waned and my love for art took over.

What influenced you to turn to painting?

I had always been interested in art since I was a little girl, and was always drawing and doing sketches of my parents. In fact, they have kept some of the drawings that I did of them; they are quite comical and make a great talking point. I always wanted to become a great artist like my father, and was really inspired by his beautiful drawings.

What other artists do you admire and why?

I like a whole eclectic mix of artists, in particular Klimt and Turner – I think Turner was brilliant; his paintings are so atmospheric and his use of colour with those beautiful skylines are so clever. I also love the Impressionist artists, such as Monet, and the Post-Impressionists, like Cezanne.

What mediums do you work in and what is your favourite?

I use mixed media on silk, which is stretched onto white painted wood. I purely use the silk as a canvas, and build up layers using various different materials such as acrylics, silk paints, gessos, primers, sculpting gels, metallic paints, and I quite often use a batik effect on the silk before I start the laying process, which gives a feeling of depth, for example when creating a meadow scene.

Jo Starkey, Spring Glow

Jo Starkey, Spring Glow

You have just moved from your studio at Trading Boundaries to the sought-after Turner-Dumbrell Workshops in Ditchling. Tell us about the move.

I was initially very sad to leave Trading Boundaries, as I have had a wonderful time there during the two and a half years. It is a very special place, I’ve made some special friends, but I also believe in fate, and that things happen for a reason.

Do you have any exhibitions or open studios events occurring this spring or summer?

I shall be participating in Art in Ditchling from my studio at the Dumbrell Workshops which will be open every weekend, including Bank Holidays, during May. I shall also be exhibiting with Ardquin Fine Arts Gallery in Haslemere for a show starting at the beginning of April.

Jo Starkey's studio at Turner-Dumbrell Workshops in Ditchling

Jo Starkey’s studio at Turner-Dumbrell Workshops in Ditchling

What are your long term future goals as an artist?

I would love to become an established and successful artist, gaining national (or even better, international) recognition for my work and to be able to make a comfortable living by selling my work for what I feel it is truly worth, reflective of the skill and time that goes into it.

Visit Jo’s website at to see more of her work.

Jo Starkey, Autumn Equinox

Jo Starkey, Autumn Equinox

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