"Josie's Wales" -  A film about painting the Welsh landscape - by TV's Josie d'Arby

"Josie's Wales" - A film about painting the Welsh landscape - by TV's Josie d'Arby

An unexpected collaboration and friendship

Back in the summer of 2023 I was contacted out of the blue with an unusual request. Josie d'Arby, an award winning television presenter, wanted to come and interview me and paint with me.  Hilariously, she confessed to being a long time fan of mine and seemed genuinely excited that I'd agreed! 

I've never been fangirl'd by a celebrity before, so how could I refuse?

Josie was on a mission, part personal and part professional, to discover the landscapes of Wales through paint, and to make a film documenting her journey. She had the idea to perhaps pitch it to a TV company or network to make a longer programme, but mostly she just wanted to unlock a long held resistance to landscape painting. She was already an accomplished abstract/figurative painter having won the BBC series 'Celebrity Painting Challenge', but landscapes were her nemesis.


Sarah Jane Brown & Josie d'Arby discussing landscape painting. (image: Josie d'Arby)

Image credit: Josie d' Arby

We hit it off as soon as we met. She laughs all the time and her brain seems to work at a million miles an hour, we had great fun. 

We also had some serious conversations about art in general and landscape in particular. We went to the beach and took photos to use as reference for the next day's painting class.

In the film, (which you can watch below) her journey begins right here in my studio where we discuss what's been holding her back and ways to reframe her mindset, then we get to work as she joins one of my landscape painting workshops.

Josie d'Arby on painting workshop. (image: Josie d'Arby)

Image credit: Josie d' Arby

By the end of that day she was buzzing! It was like the block had shifted and she was off!  Her film captures the trials and tribulations of her subsequent personal journey, discovering the magic of the Welsh landscape through the medium of paint. 

Josie d'Arby on the Pembrokeshire Coast (image: Josie d'Arby)Image credit: Josie d' Arby 


‘Josie’s Wales’ is a feature length self made documentary film. In the free 15 minute version of the film which you can watch below, you can follow Josie’s progress as she tries to build on each artistic lesson.  




You can watch the full length film at josiedarby.com

About Josie d'Arby

Josie has had a long and varied television career but is perhaps best known as an arts presenter. Her work includes: BBC Young Musican; BBC Choir of the Year; BBC Young Jazz; BBC Proms in the Park and the BBC Proms from the Royal Albert Hall. Josie has been at the helm of the much-loved International Opera competition BBC Cardiff Singer of the World for over 14 years.

As well as presenting music programmes Josie is also a practising painter. She was the winner of the BBC series 'Celebrity Painting Challenge', where, in a series of painting challenges, her artistic skills won out when pitted against other celebrity artists including Jane Seymour and Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen.

Josie also presented the ground breaking BBC Four BAFTA nominated series LIFE DRAWING LIVE, working alongside celebrated artists Lachlan Goudie, Daphne Todd and Nicky Phillips

Find out more about Josie's career and check out her amazing artwork at josiedarby.com

Find more information about painting workshops with me as well as online classes (Josie has done both! ) at sjbfineart.com/tuition 


Testimonial from Josie d'Arby for Sarah Jane Brown's online painting class.


Sarah Jane Brown teaching landscape painting. (image: Josie d'Arby)

Sarah Teaching. Image credit: Josie d' Arby


Contemporary landscapes

Sarah Jane's paintings take the viewer on a journey to reflect on internal landscapes through the beauty of the skies, the force of the sea and the drama of nature.

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