Artist Jo Stockdale set up her studio at The Exchange 1856 seven months ago. Since then, business has been flourishing and the talented self-taught artist is seeing sales of her art increase, along with more instructions for specially commissioned pieces.
Jo is inspired by colour and the environment and animals around her. As well as abstracts of the stunning Northeast coastline, she specialises in greetings cards, notebooks, tins and gift wrap all from original works of art, as well as oil paintings of animals, particularly dogs and horses. Prices range from £2 for greetings cards up to £3000 for a specially commissioned oil painting.
A former housekeeper, Jo discovered her talent for art after decorating the bedroom of her employer’s son with an underwater mural. The family loved it and immediately commissioned Jo to create a painted backdrop for their large seven-foot fish tank.
These artworks lead to more commissions and Jo quickly found herself so in demand she decided to swap cleaning for painting full-time.
That was 15 years ago, and Jo has made an impressive mark on the art industry since.
Her oil painting of a pack of hounds, which hangs in the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, has been voted the public’s favourite painting for four years running. And Jo’s greetings cards have been sold in more than 300 outlets around the UK and abroad. Jo has also won an award for her art, which featured in a London exhibition.
Jo explains why her studio is based at The Exchange 1856: “I want my art to evoke positive and uplifting feelings in the viewer so it’s crucial that my surroundings bring out that same positive energy in me. The Exchange 1856 is a beautiful building, and it feels like fate brought me here.
“Natural light is extremely important to me, and the light here is phenomenal. My studio overlooks the outside courtyard - light floods in and there are lots of plants and natural materials to inspire me. It all contributes to a lovely, tranquil, light-filled space which helps fuel my creativity.
“The Exchange 1856 is in a great location, within walking distance of the Fish Quay and all the local amenities, and there is a strong cultural community here to spark off. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect space to call home for my art business.”