Emily Jackson started painting in her latter years – with a vigour and enthusiasm lacking in most twenty five year olds. Drawing her inspiration from the New Zealand landscape, she paints "tough" turbulent landscapes, bold and expressive - a tangle of colours and dirty brushwork.
When Jackson moved with her family to Auckland in 1958 she saw a Toss Woollaston exhibition at the City Art Gallery and was profoundly impressed. His influence remained - the rawness, the colossal scale and the frantic brushwork.
The persistent encouragement and inspiration of Colin McCahon, together with her own hard work, resulted in the development of Jackson's own unique style.
In 1966 Jackson became a working member of the Auckland Society of Arts winning the Bledisloe Medal for Landscape Painting in 1968. In 1981 she was the winner of the Ida Eise prize at the Auckland Society of Arts.