Having initially trained as a doctor, for many years Jane Mackay pursued a parallel career as an artist. Her main concern is the visual representation of music. She is fascinated by the relationship between the visual and auditory parts of the brain, and she paints the images she visualises when listening to music. Classical music has been her main inspiration and she herself is both a choral singer and an oboist.
Jane Mackay was the Artist-in-Residence with the Cambridge University Musical Society 2000/01, and held an exhibition of her works in New Hall in 2001.