Jackson’s Adjustable Artist Apron is a versatile garment for the studio, constructed from a heavyweight splash-proof canvas, with three height settings to fit a variety of shapes and sizes. Here, Lisa Takahashi and Ruth Murray share their thoughts on the apron after years of putting it to use in their painting practices.
Lisa Takahashi Reviews Jackson’s Adjustable Artist Apron
I’ve owned, loved and perhaps given my Jackson’s Adjustable Artist Apron quite a hard time over the years, but it has thrived through every artistic challenge I have thrown at it. I purchased my apron when they first launched back in 2014, and remember my first impressions being good ones. The apron is made of a really sturdy cotton canvas fabric, with a generous front pocket, smaller side pockets and a really comfortable design. There’s a number of ways that the straps can be threaded through the eyelets, catering for different heights and sizes. I have tied knots in my straps to prevent them from slipping out of the eyelets, and they’ve stayed like that for the best part of eight years. There’s no fraying or damage to the apron, even though I’ve used it almost daily. Mine is (or should I say was) a warm grey colour, but this is largely concealed under numerous layers of paint, ink and paper mache these days!
To my mind this is the best designed apron I have ever used, because it wraps around you and provides excellent coverage. I wore this apron when assisting the editioning of a woodcut print measuring over 3 ½ m high, and involved a lot of black ink. My clothing remained unscathed! Had I worn a standard kitchen apron for the task, I would have certainly got ink stains around the edges of the apron. I enjoy wearing the apron for my plein air painting sessions too, not least because the big pocket at the front allows me to keep much used paints close to hand, as well as rags, pencil, and brushes.
When I teach workshops, I always wear my apron because it gives me peace of mind – I know I’m not going to come home with annoying paint stains on my clothes. The big pocket is a godsend in this situation too, giving me somewhere where I can keep my teaching notes, masking tape, and any other essentials that I may need quickly at any given moment.
Over the course of my 8 years with this apron, it’s actually become part of my psychological preparation for my teaching or art making. As soon as I put it on I’m ready to play, to make a mess, to experiment, because I feel I don’t need to hold back at all for fear of ruining my clothes! It’s so well made, hardwearing, comfortable and practical, and frankly a bargain for what it offers. I would say it would be good value at double the price! Needless to say, it gets a hearty recommendation from me.
About Lisa Takahashi
Lisa Takahashi is a Somerset-based artist, who makes linocut prints, oil paintings and watercolours. She is best known for her bold, geometric linocut prints of cyclists. Her figurative paintings are colourful and expressive, and have the influence of British Modernism and French Impressionism in equal measure.
Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition, the New English Art Club, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.
In 2018 she reached the semi-finals of Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year, and in 2022 she was chosen as the expert judge for the Devon heats in Channel 5’s Watercolour Challenge.
She writes regularly for the Jackson’s Art Blog about drawing, painting and printmaking techniques. In 2021 she took on the role of Chief Editor for the Jackson’s ‘Paper Guide’ publication, which was subsequently given a favourable review in Printmaking Today.
Photographs by Aisling Magill
Ruth Murray Reviews Jackson’s Artist Apron
My current apron is caked in paint, I usually wear a painting shirt underneath my apron too, to protect the whole of my upper body. You can see in the picture the build up of paint on the fabric. I love the muddy, layered look of this paint: it’s like looking at archeology of all the work I’ve done over the years! I don’t mean to be messy: but the paint just naturally gets everywhere. It’s a little bit like working, slowly, indirectly, on a second canvas. It was a treat to receive a new apron from Jackson’s. I chose the Jackson’s Adjustable Artist Apron in Brown (it also comes in grey).
I really like the look of it, which is a classic utility style, and it offers great coverage. I’m only small, so it comes down past my knees, but it’s also adjustable and fits securely without swamping me. There is a large pocket across the front, which I have been finding useful when I’m working – to hold brushes or a rag. There are also a couple of smaller pockets useful for holding a phone or keys.
The fabric is a thick, durable canvas which I can see lasting well, and it fastens with supportive straps that can be passed behind you through reinforced eyelets. This is a great feature, as the tension on the waist tie is usually where my aprons break. It’s much smarter than my usual aprons; and seems well priced. I like it so much I’ve been avoiding getting paint on it!
About Ruth Murray
Ruth Murray is a Manchester-based artist whose work reflects a deep interest in exploring portraiture, identity, and the presence of human concerns in natural settings and the social landscape.
Ruth graduated from the Royal College of Art and was the Derek Hill Scholar at the British School at Rome in 2008. Her notable exhibitions include Northern Stars at the A Foundation, Saatchi’s 4 New Sensations, The Creative Cities Collection at the Barbican and the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. She was awarded an Elizabeth Greenshields grant in 2021, she won the Jackson’s Painting Prize in 2020 and she was shortlisted for the Contemporary British Painting Prize in 2019.
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Shop Jackson’s Adjustable Artist Apron in Grey on jacksonsart.com
Shop Jackson’s Adjustable Artist Apron in Brown on jacksonsart.com