Jane Shaw Blaikley
A small woman of barely five feet tall, Jane looked even smaller beside her husband's 6ft 2 inches.
Although her first ambition was to take up gardening, her parents thought there was little future in it for a woman but her love of gardening stayed with her for the rest of her life. Instead, she took up art and began attending the Royal Female School of Art, a single-sex Victorian establishment, where she gained scholarships and prizes and qualified as a teacher. Two of her large flower paintings in water-colour, were accepted by the Royal Academy. Whilst studying Jane made many friends, including Dorothy Cohen, who painted portraits of Jane's children, including a miniature of William Allan Thomson ♂.
Her marriage, in 1913, cut short a brief teaching career but she returned to painting in a serious way following World War II. Her work, from this point onward, was greatly influenced by the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.
Jane's husband was an engineer for the Blue Star Line and was frequently required to leave his family in order to supervise ship-building or repairs in Britain and abroad. Jane grew to dread the phone call from her husband's secretary telling her that he had been called away and her reaction in reply was less than polite, so much so that the secretary eventually refused to undertake this task. On one occasion, nearing Jane and Edward's wedding anniversary, Jane was so incensed that Blue Star Line arranged for her to join her husband onboard ship in Lisbon, Portugal where the ship's cook gave them a wonderful anniversary dinner.
Her daughter, Edith Mary Thomson ♀, wrote that Jane had "great charm without affectation as well as persistence and energy" but had "a certain lack of confidence in dealing with social occasions".
4 March 1917