Award winning oil painter specializing in contemporary and figurative portraiture Mary Jane Ansell graduated from Brighton University in 1994 and now works from her studio in the heart of Brighton's North Laine. After only beginning to seriously exhibit her work in 2002, she was selected for both the 2004 BP National Portrait Award and The Daily Mails Not the Turner Prize she was also prize winner in London Arts Art of Love competition held at the Arndale Gallery, Cork Street London. 2004 also saw her supporting the national charitable initiative Big Arts Week spending a week with children, at Stanford Infant School during June encouraging them to explore portraiture for themselves.
She was invited to appear on the BBC, giving a live half hour portraiture master-class on CBBC's Xchange programme marking the National Gallery's exhibition Making Faces. During Brighton's May Festival she was short listed for the Brighton Festival Fringe Art Prize 2004-2005 continued to be just as eventful. Mary Jane won the Sussex Open Painting Award at Brighton and Hove Museum and was selected for the Royal Society Of Portrait Painters annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London followed by a second selection for LondonArts Art of Love competition held at the Oxo Tower Gallery, London in February. 2006 - opened with an invitation to produce a portrait, one of 150 to be auctioned as part of The National Portrait Gallery's 150th Anniversary Gala celebrations. Along with celebrities such as Mario Testino, Bruce Oldfield, Sam Taylor-Wood, Sophie Dahl and Jerry Hall - artists and sitters joined forces for National Portrait Gallery's 150th Anniversary Appeal: 'Collecting for the Future' raising money for future collections.