Keenan as mustard
I studied textiles at Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee. Since graduating, in 1998, I have always worked in retail, however, I never dreamed that one day I would own my own shop!
I became a stylist for Habitat, working in the Kings Road flagship store and head office. My husband and I moved back to Aberdeen in 2004. After five years as Visuals Commercial Manager at M&S, I left to freelance and look after our growing family of three boys. I realised that I wanted to start creating my own work rather than styling the work of others. I started drawing again and took a screen printing refresher at Peacock Visual Arts. I started to show my work in 2011 and even pulled together one exhibition when my youngest son was just eight days old. I added hand-made lampshades, cushions and luxury scented candles to my range over the next few years.
Three years ago we converted our barn into a studio, workshop and exhibition space. It was great until, two days before a NEOS Christmas Pop Up exhibition when the entire barn flooded. I thought ‘Nope, this has broken me, I can’t go on!’ I called all of my fellow exhibitors, and called it off. Later that day, I remembered a beautiful wee shop in the neighbouring village that had a ‘for rent’ hand written sign in the window. The landlord agreed to rent us the space for three days and the show was saved. I loved the space so much that the Old Boot makers on Station Road, Maud is now my permanent art home.
All of my work starts off with drawings and mark making in everything from pen and ink to tattie prints, preparing them for silk screen printing. I love the element of surprise when a screen is pulled and revealed. Sometimes little accidents take me down a different creative path, giving rise to a new collection. I add layers and textures in a variety of mediums from acrylics to crayon and silver leaf.
My inspiration stems from the ever-changing seasonal landscape that surrounds us in Aberdeenshire and the seasonal changes that it brings. Lavender fields, bright yellow rapeseed against a blue sky and the sunflower borders that can be seen on the edge of fields. I love it all. Driving round the countryside observing these colourful snapshots makes me happy!
I spent the first three months of 2020 getting my shop, Jane Keenan Designs @ Hendersons, ready to open. I sell my own work, design-led products from local makers and Frenchic furniture paint. We opened on 6 March but had to close six days later because of the first lockdown. Luckily for me, people developed a craze for painting furniture, so I developed contactless sales from my garage.
The shop opened again in July and then we were in lockdown again. I added tea lights and diffusers to my candle range, rebranded my lampshade kits and added screen-printing kits to the range.
My plan is to expand my space within and knock down a few walls to create a bigger shopfloor area. I also want to expand my textiles range and create an inspirational interiors section, complete with a wood burning stove, some beautifully upholstered and painted furniture pieces.
I absolutely love my workspace and shop and whether it’s a pot of paint or a one off piece of art work you are after, hopefully there will be something that catches your eye when we re-open for the third time!
Jane Keenan Design
The Square, Station Road, Maud
Aberdeenshire, AB42 5LY