The Mill Arts Centre Exhibition: Janet Bird

Each day over the next two weeks, we introduce an artist exhibiting their work at The Mill Arts Centre. Read on to discover more about your favourite local artists.

Janet Bird has four new acrylic and oil canvas paintings at The Mill: Windswept, Arabian Dreams, A Quiet Intimacy, and Stan. Janet discusses her inspiration behind the work with us.


Acrylics on stretched canvas

"Growing up on a farm in rural Northern Ireland, I saw plenty of sheep like these – small, tough and equipped with a remarkable ability to escape from any field you put them in! I spent a lot of my childhood helping my Dad retrieve them from our long suffering neighbours’ land. I wanted this piece to convey the innate toughness of these animals, so I painted the sheep staring defiantly out of the canvas, while a wind whips its long wool around."

Arabian Dreams

Acrylics on stretched canvas

"For as long as I can remember and – I am told even before that – I have loved horses. I have always felt Arabian horses are perhaps the most beautiful of all breeds and I could not resist painting this beautiful grey mare. There is a luminous quality to her that I felt could best be conveyed in monochrome, although I did add just a touch of ochre for a little warmth. Such a treat to paint!"

A Quiet Intimacy

Oils on stretched canvas

"Swans are unusual in the bird kingdom in that they mate for life. I felt the pose of this pair showed the comfortable intimacy of the long-term couple, hence the title. This painting was my first venture into oil paints, which have now become my medium of choice, so I clearly enjoyed the experience of painting it!"


Acrylics on specialist paper

"There is something very special about an old horse. They have such an air of nobility about them and, in those who have been loved and well treated, there is an almost tangible contentment, a feel of a life well lived. Stan here had such character in his face that I could not resist painting him. For me, character trumps mere prettiness every time, and Stan has that in abundance."

Our exhibition is available to view at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Covid-19 procedures will be in place to keep everyone safe.

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