Jane Ostler

Hello. Welcome to my website.

My day job is Art Development Officer at the Level Best Art Cafe, 3 Culver Street East, Colchester, CO1 1LD, a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run by The Dacon Trust Ltd.

I draw and paint and have been working on the illustrations for a book about a giraffe recently.







MA Fine Art 1986 Goldsmiths College, London

BA (Hons.) First Class Painting 1980 Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, Wiltshire

MA thesis: "Carl Andre: Transcendental Value and Materials"
BA degree module breakdown:
Major: Painting
Minor: Screenprinting
Minor: Complimentary Studies, Geology:"New College Oxford: The buildings and their stones"
Minor: Complimentary Studies, Art & Design CV: "Two contemporary American architects: Michael Graves & Robert Stern"






Artists' Statement

Superficially whimsical, my work balances on the borders of understanding, for me and everyone else, probably. I use animal and human figures in my work and simple forms such as the square, circle and triangle.

Paint itself is plastic, or easily manipulated, and so there is an infinite variety in the way it can be applied; spread thickly to form a smooth surface, used sculpturally as a form in itself’; spread flatly offering areas of potential, to be worked into while wet, or left to dry to create a smooth shiny surface, for a perfect circle or triangle or square.

Some artwork is painted and printed using juxtaposition or layering. Several images or objects sit side by side, or lie on tissues or voiles, creating a deeper more mysterious image, from which I hope the observer will make conjectures of meaning or non-meaning which may or may not be relevant to their own lives and minds.

I have created ink and paint from tea, earth and chitin (lobster skins), hanging air-cleansing plants from the paintings.   I am researching the use of botanical chemicals in art to support the case for environmental moralism. 

Arjo and the Birdman, Oil on canvas. Detail



City & Islington College, London, EC1 March 1996, RSA GNVQ Assessor Training GNVQ Art & Design.

City Lit, Holborn, London, WC1 1994 City & Guilds 7307 Stage One, Further & Adult Education Teachers Certificate


September 2007 - currently Art Development Officer/Artist in Residence at the ArtCafe, 3 Culver Street East, Colchester, CO1 1LD, at Art-Co, a Level Best not-for-profit Social Enterprise, The Dacon Trust Ltd, Colchester, Essex CO1 1LD

May - June 2007 Frinton on Sea Primary School, Art and Maths: Finding patterns in chaos.

July 2005 CSV Clubhouse, Ipswich, Suffolk
C & G 7500 Diploma in Media Techniques: Level 3 Unit 12: Web Page Design

March - July 2005 CSV Clubhouse, Ipswich, Suffolk
Web Page Design in Macromedia Dreamweaver on a PC (Microsoft Windows XP) CSV Clubhouse, Ipswich, Suffolk

March - July 2005 CSV Clubhouse, Ipswich, Suffolk, Editing Digital Images: Introduction to Photoshop Techniques on a PC (Microsoft Windows XP)

December 2004 CSV Clubhouse, Ipswich, Suffolk
MacromediaMX4 Dreamweaver for Beginners

November 2004 Harlow Arts CD Cover/Disc Design Workshop, Harlow Old Town, Essex

Sept-2004-March 2005 duckegg.org
Painting Class, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

Colchester Borough Council
Artist in Residence for National AIDS DAY,

June 2002, 2003, 2004 Frinton-on-Sea County Primary School, Essex.
Talk & workshops : School Alphabet/ “What an Artist Does” /Clay Cats
Art & Grounds Week, Sets for “Cinders”.

2001 Firstsite @ The Minories Art Gallery, Colchester

Half-Term Workshop for children re. “Trauma” Exhibition” : 3D plaster & paint reliefs

2000 – 01 Connecting Cultures Placementee at Bromley by Bow Healthy Living Centre, London E3.
Artist in a health setting generating insights into the experience of artists in such employment environments for under graduate syllabus for Art students. Worked with a trainee health net-worker using art as a focus to develop her confidence, educational potential and ability to provide cross-cultural assistance on health matters to ethnic minority groups. An initiative of the Colchester Institute.

1997 to 2000 Career break to focus on raising a family.

1996 to 1996 The Chequer Centre, City & Islington College, London, EC1
Tutor Grade 5
Oil painting for adults.

1990 to 1996 The Chequer Centre, City & Islington College, London, EC1
Tutor Grade 5
Painting and drawing, mixed level adults, LOCF accredited.

1992 to 1994 Chequer Centre, City & Islington College, London, EC1
Tutor Grade 5
Art for older people. Created stage backdrops for music show at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, during 1992 the European Year of Older People, as part of our regular class work.

1988 to 1993 Workshops on Demand, 49 Ellington Street, Islington, London
Art Tutor

Co-member of six artists committed to working with disadvantaged groups and implementing equal opportunities within the art-workshop arena. We shared administration, fund-raising and teaching. The workshops resulted in the exhibition of work by our clients in art galleries and libraries.

1990 Whitechapel Art Gallery. Oil painting and reminiscence with pensioners in conjunction with "Arshile Gorky", work toured.

1989 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Photocopy collage using reminiscences. Pensioners.

1989 Serpentine Gallery, London. Workshop with homeless adults to build a giant pinhole camera and darkroom with wheel chair access. Work toured.

1988 Haggerston Centre, Hackney, London. Sculpture. Adults with
learning difficulties.

1987 Shape & London Borough of Hackney, Space Studios, Belsham Street, Hackney Painting workshops for adults with learning difficulties.

1992 to 1992 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London E1
Artists' workshop
Painting workshops in conjunction with "Richard Diebenkorn". Primary, Secondary GCSE and adults. Life drawing for GCSE students.
1991 to 1991 Chequer Centre, Islington Adult Education, London, EC1
Life drawing, watercolour and mixed level painting for adults

1988 to 1988 Newham Community College, East Ham, London
Sessional Tutor, Fine Art Dept. Foundation
One-to-one studio-based tutorials to art foundation students.

1987 to 1987 Peterborough General Hospital, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
Printmaker in Residence
Motivate and instruct clients in psychiatric day centre with theme of Pot Garden, using stencilling and sponge painting techniques. Work bought by the Friends of Peterborough Hospital for the permanent print collection.

Colchester Institute 2003-4
Sheepen Road
Colchester, Essex
City & Guilds 5260 Printing Studies Graphic Communications

Colchester Institute July 2002
Sheepen Road
Colchester, Essex
Introductory Stage Therapeutic Counselling

Colchester Institute Summer 2000
Sheepen Road
Colchester, Essex
Attended Festival of Learning Web Design

City University, London, EC1 Winter 1990
Freelance Journalism Evening Class

Goldsmiths College of Art, Camberwell, London Sept 1983 to July 1986

M.A. Fine Art

Pitmans Secretarial College 1981, Holborn, London
Intensive secretarial skills

Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, Wiltshire Sept 1977 to July 1980
B.A. (Hons) First Class,
Fine Art (Painting)
Screen-Printing, Complimentary Studies

Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, Wiltshire Sept 1976 to July 1977
Foundation in Art


1991 British Council Travel Bursary . Organised and raised funds for two exhibitions of British and Bulgarian artists in Plovdiv and London. The British Council funded return journey to Bulgaria for 3 artists.


'Artists Handbooks Across Europe' David Butler Ed. Bulgarian Section Jane Ostler p.23-25, 1992 AN Publications (Artic Producers Publishing Co Ltd) Account of artists'exchange between a British and a Bulgarian. The Artist's personal guide to travel and work.

'Painting in Plovdiv' Jane Ostler Artists Newsletter March 1991 AN Publications Account of artist's exchange between a British and a Bulgarian. Illustrated by photographs including full colour magazine cover.

' Sophie Horton' Jane Ostler Goldsmiths Gallery Exhibition Catalogue Winter 1989 Goldsmiths Gallery, Essay on sculpture.

'The Serpentine Illusion' Jane Ostler Building Design March 1989 Descriptive account of contemporary art installation by David Tremlett in public gallery illustrated with colour photographs by author.



March 7 2012 Bath Spa University Industry Insights Get into...Ethical Careers in the Charity and Not-for-Profit Sectors

April 29 2010 Essex University Spring Festival of Culture and the Arts : Empowerment through the Arts.

January 2007 Colchester Institute, School of Art, Essex, CO3. "Spheres of Influence"

June 2002, 2003, 2004 Frinton-on-Sea County Primary School, Essex. Talk & workshops : School Alphabet/ “What an Artist Does” /Clay Cats.

1992 to 1992 Whitechapel Art Gallery, "Juan Gris", Gallery talk.

1989 to 1989 Serpentine Trust, Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 Gallery talks on "David Tremlett", " Colour in Context" exhibitions.

1988 to 1988 The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, London Gallery Guide: "The Open Show" Gallery talk on selected work in the exhibition, including my own.

1987 to 1987 Arts Council of Great Britain, Hayward Gallery, South Bank, London, Gallery Guide: "Le Corbusier", led guided talks around contemporary art gallery; involving and engaging gallery visitors.

1986 to 1986 Arts Council of Great Britain, Hayward Gallery, South Bank, London Gallery Guide: "Falls the Shadow", led guided talks around contemporary art gallery to personally selected works; involving and engaging public.