IT’S THE minutiae that grabs your attention.

A man on a bike, a washing line, three nurses queuing for a bus, a man on his mobile phone waiting for a taxi, a Royal Mail van, a woman in a fancy hat…they are among the many small details that captivate.

And the unexpected - who would have imagined three flamingos strutting along the canal in the heart of Leeds? And yet there they are, fitting in as easily as everyday ducks.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Everything you could wish for, LeedsEverything you could wish for, Leeds

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Romantic man with mobile phone, St PancrasRomantic man with mobile phone, St Pancras

These small, delightful touches all form part of a series of paintings by Bingley-based artist Jane Fielder.

Known as Janescapes, they contain a snippet of life in settings from rural market towns to city centres.

Jane’s creativity stretches back to childhood. “For as long as I can remember I have painted and made things,” she says. “My favourite present as a child was paint, paper and Sellotape. I spent hours creating things out of coloured paper and tape and painted in thick powder paint.

She desperately wanted to go to art school “but I grew up in an age where you did what your parents told you, so I ended up at teacher training college in Dublin, specialising in art.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Man with dog, Bingley - Jane's biggest Janescape in her dining roomMan with dog, Bingley - Jane's biggest Janescape in her dining room

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A magical place, BradfordA magical place, Bradford

Jane taught for five years before taking an art foundation course, with a view to doing a degree in the subject, but her plan were derailed when she met and married her husband and went on to have three children.

“At the age of 40 I still yearned for a fine art degree but was steered towards a two-year textile course at Bradford College which I loved,” she says.

A few years later Jane spotted an advert in the Keighley News looking for adventurous artists to form a co-operative to run a town centre gallery. Painters Daniel Paulo and Peter Marsden were looking for like-minded artists to help set up the project.

“I met with six other artists in the house of the late well known artist Neil Palliser's house in Bingley. Little did I know in 1995 how this meeting was to be life changing,” says Jane.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Romantic YorkRomantic York

“We each brought work to show - mine was received enthusiastically and I was told "you must show your work". This had never before occurred to me. Someone arranged for me to take some work along to a gallery in Ilkley - I was absolutely terrified."

After rejecting a number of paintings, “they came to some long thin vertical very free flower paintings on beautiful watercolour paper that I'd got from the scrap shop at Green Road in Baildon for 1p a sheet.,” says Jane. “They said if I did eight more like it they may be interested. I floated home, picked armfuls of flowers from the garden and paintings somehow magically poured from me.”


The gallery bought them all. “They gave me what I asked - I could not believe it.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jane with one of her trademark JanescapesJane with one of her trademark Janescapes

From there another gallery saw my work and asked me to bring something in. This time I took some long horizontal pictures. The first one came from a dream, others were of Bingley, Keighley and Skipton. The gallery owner loved them and asked me to said do some of Ilkley, so I did.”

“The first ones were all from memory and people used to say: "can you do me one of those long thin quirky townscapes?" - they were hard to describe. My husband said: "You should call them Janescapes,” so Janescapes were born.

Jane, who grew up in Cheltenham, is inspired by West Yorkshire’s industrial towns and rugged moorland. “My first visit ‘upnorth’ was to do the Pennine way, with my boyfriend, now husband, in about 1974. I will never forget walking over the brow of the hill, out of the mist, above Hebden Bridge, and seeing my first ever mill chimney. I couldn't believe my eyes - it was love at first sight

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bingley with street lightsBingley with street lights

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jane Fielder in Apothecary Gallery, ThorntonJane Fielder in Apothecary Gallery, Thornton

For my first Janescapes I would see something that caught my eye and stare at it for a while to capture it in my head. I'd speak out loud to myself, going through the colours, shapes, interesting happenings and any amusing incidents, and then rush home and outline them in pen.

Then I'd add repeating shapes, often lampposts, trees, and usually a washing line or two. And of course a black bra - because we live close to Damart and I'm still amused by their bras the size of windows.

“Over the years my approach has changed somewhat. I now draw an outline on the spot and come home and paint.”

Janescapes are just a tiny part of what she paints. “I paint anything that takes my fancy.”

To date she has painted around 456 Janescapes. The biggest, and two of her favourites, are Everything you could wish for, Leeds and The Man with Dog, Bingley. “The former was a commission and the people wanted buildings from faraway places added, their children and even their children's goldfish. That was fun.

“The latter is one of the few I have kept because every time I see that view it makes my heart flutter. I also love The Rig, painted during the building of the Bingley bypass, and I'm pleased with my latest one Flyaway Bras and Driverless Cars, Bingley. It's the first one I've painted in acrylic ink on canvas. I think my excitement shows.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Flyaway bras and driverless cars, BingleyFlyaway bras and driverless cars, Bingley

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The RigThe Rig

Jane has not only paints local scenes. “I have painted in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Spain, London, York, Berwick, and many other places around the UK.”

She once had a three-week week residency and exhibition on the other side of the world in Shanghai, China.

Her paintings hang on walls across the world. “There are some in Bermuda, China, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Estonia, Italy and many in Ireland and the UK.”

At present Jane is catching up on commissions. “The first is a Janescape about the feelings of isolation during lockdown - it's a really interesting piece, and then there's one of a black and white cat doing something extraordinary with a new house and the breathtaking view from the Dog and Gun, Leeming, towards Stanbury.

Jane does not have a dedicated studio. “I have had studios, but my favourite place by far is the kitchen table - every room in the house is my studio, really.”

Jane opened The Bingley Gallery in 2004 and ran it for 15 years until 2019 when fellow artist David Starley took it over. “I'm delighted that David now owns and runs the gallery and I am lucky enough to still have two dedicated walls for my work. and a solo show booked for 2024. She is also preparing for a group exhibition with Aire Valley Arts at the Atrium Gallery in St James Hospital in Leeds in 2025.”

“This year I was delighted to show at Saltaire Arts Trail in May and I am looking forward to a group show with Aire Valley Arts in December at The Cottage next to the Manor House in Ilkley."