Jean Tori

Jean Tori was a British artist who studied fine art, design and silk screen printing at the Portsmouth College of Art. Jean began to paint professionally in 1965 and over several decades exhibited in England, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States and Italy. 

In the early 1970s Jean went to live in South Korea where she was greatly influenced by the naïve style and vibrant colours of Korean Folk Art. She also apprenticed with a Korean paper master in Seoul, learning how to make paper screens, later creating her own particular paper canvases on which to paint, as she loved the texture that the paper provided. 

In 1977 Jean moved to Hong Kong where she lived for two decades, all the while travelling extensively throughout Asia. These immediate surroundings significantly inspired Jean’s paintings, especially the Chinese Zodiac Animal signs, oriental symbols, textile patterns, the lush jungles and landscapes, and Asian architecture.

Jean and her family then returned to Europe, choosing Italy where she renovated a farmhouse in Umbria. Here she set up her art studio in one of the converted barns, continuing to paint, inspired by the countryside, oak tree forests, Renaissance frescoes and medieval hilltop towns.

Jean’s creative imagination, extraordinary perspective and sense of humour are evident in her varied works of art, ranging from figurative images with intricate details and patterns, minimalist landscapes, graphic design style compositions and her unique children’s books’ illustrations. One of the most defining characteristics of Jean’s artistic process was her use of bright and vibrant colours [always with gouache paints] strongly influenced by colour theory – the technique of combining certain colours to produce a harmonious effect. Above all, Jean’s paintings have always portrayed joy and a reminder that we all have a particular way of looking at the world around us. 

[Jean Tori 1940-2024]

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