Fresh Face Friday – Jane Stradwick

As an anthropology major, it thrills me to no end to introduce the artist for this week. From Australia, to New Zealand, to Ireland, and back again, Jane Stradwick has had the world for inspiration. As an archaeologist, Jane spent many years working on digs in Ireland. The attention to detail that is present in her archaeological technical drawings is amazing and she brings that same focus to her work as a portrait illustrator; effectively capturing the essence of her subjects in her work. Below, Jane speaks to us in her own words about her life and inspirations. To learn more about Jane’s work visit:;;




1) Name:

Jane Stradwick

2) Website Address:

Archaeological technical drawings can be found at

Custom portraits can be ordered at

3) Title/Position or Mediums you work in:

Most of the technical drawings were from my time working as an archaeologist in Ireland. These were typically done with Rotring Rapidograph ink pens on Mylar sheets. I work in a lot of mediums. One of my favourites is acrylic on stretched cotton – it’s fast drying but gives a lovely matte finish. The portraits I have been doing lately have mainly consisted of prismacolor pencils on toned paper.

4) Links to/Examples of your work:

See below

5) Brief Biography:

Originally from Australia, I spent most of my early life in Wellington and Auckland, NZ. I graduated from Whitecliffe College of Art and Design in 1994 and went on to have jobs in different creative industries – costume design and make up artistry to name a few. I traveled a lot in my late 20’s and my early 30’s while I was working as an archaeologist in Ireland. I moved to Melbourne 6 years ago and now I live with my wonderful three and a half son Oscar.


1) What does wholehearted and mindful living mean to you?

Being fully present in my life.

2) How do you practice wholehearted and mindful living?

I aim to be present in every experience and (try) not to judge myself for whatever I feel. I try to surround myself with images and music that are my version of beauty and A LOT of plants.

3) What or who inspires you?

I am inspired by people that are unafraid to be their truest selves.

4) Answer this quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one, wild, and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver

Be kind and try to keep your focus on the things you do want.

5) What words of wisdom would you offer to your younger self?

So many things but I guess to start with saying that being yourself is the most important thing you can do – for yourself and others. Sometimes you have to stand up for that right because people will try to shape you into an image that pleases or suits them – no one is worth losing yourself for.


1) You feature many archaeological sketches on your site and your Kickstarter project aims to capture fleeting moments of childhood. What is the importance of
time, history, and memory in your work?

I grew up when you had to drop off your photos and pick them up. Digital photography has changed a lot about how we see and shape our history. When you only had 24 frames, with no preview, you captured a relatively objective second in time. For most things there was no going back and changing what that lasting image was going to be. Now we take a million photos, delete all but the ones that represent how we would like to remember something.

I think painting/ drawing has always been the latter, even expressionism, because we call a piece finished when it suits what we want to see. I guess with my art I take that one step further and try and extract the most beauty I can with every piece, and with colour pencils, you can layer the shades so there is a wonderful depth and opportunity to create a gorgeous colour palette.

2) How has becoming a mother influenced your work and journey as an artist?

Well, for a start I became quite familiar with how light falls on a young face because I think over my son’s three and a half years I must have stared at his face for two of those! I took so many photos and wanted to draw and paint him and really capture the essence of who he was to me. That’s what got me thinking about drawing portraits of other parents loved little ones.

3) What meaning do you hope people get out of your work?

I am constantly getting surprised reactions of how much my portraits capture the subject. That is what I want. I want people to relate to the portrait like they would the subject.

4) What do you hope is the impact of your work?

I hope that over time my portraits become something special to the families that receive them. A little bit of history and beauty.

5) What projects do you have on the horizon?

I am currently in the process of completing three portraits with seven in the queue after that. I am working with my brother who is a game designer ( illustrating stills for the game interface. I am also working on another project, I have been trying to hone my craft before I release it – exciting times!!


Tiles (Medieval) by Jane Stradwick
Metal by Jane Stradwick
Coins, Ireland by Jane Stradwick
Custom portraits in grayscale pencil (11.5×16″) by Jane Stradwick
Custom portraits in grayscale pencil (11.5×16″) by Jane Stradwick
Custom portraits in grayscale pencil (11.5×16″) by Jane Stradwick
Custom portrait in full color pencil (8×11″) by Jane Stradwick

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