In 1954 Jean Picton was invited to become a Windmill Girl at the famous Windmill Theatre in the West End of London. During her time there she worked with such greats as Harry Secombe and Bruce Forsyth.
In the 1970s Jean Picton spent some time in the USA having been invited to represent the UK and Britishness due to Jeans cabaret act. Jean performed at venues such as the Chicago Hilton Hotel and the Carlton Hotel, New York. Whilst in the USA Jean became a regular on the Joey Adams chat show, Coast to Coast.
In the 1980s Jean returned to England and was often seen on British TV. Jean worked on shows such as Hi-de-hi, EastEnders and appeared in many TV ads. At the same time Jean was working on the British cabaret circuit as an established performer. Upon retiring from show business at the beginning of the 1990s Jean began painting as a hobby but quickly realised she had a talent for art. Because of this Jean decided to take her art seriously and this led to Jean attaining a BA Hons degree in Fine Art in 2002.
Since gaining her Degree, Jean’s new found career as an artist has gone from strength to strength. As a professional artist Jean’s work sells not only throughout the UK but also Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and as far away as North America, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. Jean is truly an international artist.
Jean’s words: After gaining my art degree I didn’t know what to do next, so I applied to the Digswell Art Trust for a fellowship. The Digswell Arts Trust is a charity that for over fifty years has focused on artists in the early phase of their careers. To my surprise I was accepted and it was here I experimented and developed my own style of painting. Up to this point, selling my paintings had not occurred to me. A chance meeting on a train, with an editor of an art magazine who was interested in my life story led to an article in that magazine which was seen by a major art publishing company. The rest, as they say, is history! I feel my work is more about “painting” than “flowers”. The subject matter is just a means to explore the skill of tonal values, composition and the drawn line. I have moved through various phases in my development from minimalist poppy images to more complex structured paintings, exploring a deeper resonance of colour. I visited India in 2011 which left a lasting impression on me. The intense colours I saw around me challenged my thinking as to how I could replicate the importance of the relationship of colours to each other thus creating movement on canvas. My latest works are the result of this thinking. I have taken the abstract form to a larger scale, intensified the colours by adding a resin finish, thus improving the “movement” within the work. Where I am now, is proving the most exciting of all my careers, watch this space!
To see an interview with Jean Picton about her days as a Windmill Girl performer, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87Uva19gLw0