Josephine Wall was born in Farnham, Surrey, England in 1947. Educated at Farnham and Parkstone Grammar Schools, her family moved to Poole, Dorset when she was 14. From childhood Josephine has had a passion for light and colour, fantasy and visual story telling. The life of a painter was clearly her destiny! Enchanting and detailed images flow freely from her imagination in an endless cascade of ideas. Her first employment after leaving Bournemouth Art College was at Poole Pottery, where she painted the dynamic and boldly coloured designs of the now famous Delphis Ware – very collectable and realising high prices at specialist auctions. In addition to her main love of painting, she directs her creative energies into pottery figures, sculpture and reproduction stained glass panels. She has even customised items of clothing.
Much of the inspiration for her mystical images comes from her close observation of nature and her interest in its preservation. Though she often strives to impart a message in her scenes, she also hopes to inspire in her audience a personal journey into the magical world of their own imagination.
Josephine Wall lives contentedly with her husband at Wisteria Cottage' where she works in a purpose built attic studio. The walls are covered with a huge wisteria, cascading gorgeous flowers - hand painted of course. Josephine is convinced that working under the pyramid shaped roof is a source of inspirational vibes, aiding her creativity! The rest of the cottage also displays her artistic nature, a woodland scene and butterflies in the kitchen, flowers and birds on the furniture and even more wisteria on the glass doors in the living room. Even the garden doesn’t escape her touch, as she likes nothing better than to spend time designing unusual features and creating an abundance of colour, with a slight bias towards a Victorian style.
Josephine has three children (two sons & one Daughter) and since marrying Bob also has two Step-Daughters. At this time Josephine & Bob have 10 Grandchildren – their ages ranging from a few months to 19 years old, some of whom are already showing signs of an artistic tendency.
As with most artists Jo is often asked ‘where do you get your ideas?’ the answer is … “from anywhere and everywhere”. Jo is never short of inspiration; in fact she feels it is a race against time to produce all the images that she has conceived. Another often asked question is ‘how long did it take to learn to paint?’ the answer is … “a lifetime”, because she has painted since she was a child and the work has evolved and matured until the current image was created. Her paintings actually take on average 2–4 weeks depending on size and subject.
Josephine works mostly with acrylic paint, which allows her to paint quickly, and to create many textured and colourful effects. She has been influenced and inspired by the illustrative talents of Arthur Rackham, the surrealism of artists such as Magritte and Salvador Dali, and the romanticism of the Pre-Raphaelites. This combined with her own imaginative ideas has led to a wide and varied range of work.
“The art of painting is more than a career to me,” she says, “it is an all consuming obsession and a love of colour and form. In fact, if I am away from my easel for too long I become restless and anxious to paint again”
It would seem that in these days of doom, gloom and high pressure, more people than ever are seeking the escapism of fantasy and surrealism – which is good for Jo who loves to paint such images. The more imaginative and surrealistic they are the more they are admired.
In addition to an annual exhibition in London, held by the Society for Art of the Imagination to which Jo belongs, her work can be found in galleries all over the south of England, from Cornwall to Kent and rapidly gaining popularity in America.
Josephine is also an accomplished sculptor and has created a number of unique figurines. Using natural stone found locally, various modelling materials and semi-precious stones, she creates models that once painted, challenge the viewer to find where the stone ends and the figure begins.
An increasing demand for character windows, led her to experiment in this field using self adhesive lead and vitreous paint, to reproduce traditional lead-lights and many of her own designs.
Due to her individualistic, textured use of acrylic medium, she has been invited to demonstrate and lecture to local art circles.
Whilst her work has always covered a wide range of subjects, since moving into the world print market, she has produced works with a distinct ethnic flavour and images of many favourite stories and fables. Her fantasy work remains most popular, many containing hidden images or faces, which has become a trademark.