Exhibition Madness

Dear Blog-ary, it has been many months since I’ve last posted…

The summer of 2019 flew by, marked by a fantastic kayak trip to the Broughton Archipelago on the west coast of Vancouver Island and enroute, a few long-overdue visits with friends. We saw all manner of land, sea and sky creatures while paddling through a maze of islands and soaking in the beauty of the coastal landscape. We were accompanied by the gentle sound of paddles in water, and the (somewhat) louder song of laughter and conversation from our paddling companions. Back in Edmonton, we had little time for much other than work, but since we both love our work it is no sacrifice. That said, now that fall is here, I’m lamenting the dirth of outdoor pursuits compared to other years but looking forward to the winter ones ahead.

“Archipelago” | Watercolour (34.5 x 25" framed) | Available on Nov. 7 at the 26th Annual Exhibition

“Archipelago” | Watercolour (34.5 x 25" framed) | Available on Nov. 7 at the 26th Annual Exhibition

Art Live | Canada House Gallery

Another highlight of summer was painting live at Canada House Gallery in Banff alongside four other gallery artists in August. It was a little daunting at first as I am accustomed to painting in solitude, but everyone had great questions and observations, and seemed genuinely interested in the process. (Robert Lemay, Kerry Langlois, Terry McCue and Sheila Kernan) I discovered that painting in public wasn’t the hive-inducing exercise I thought it might be, (and hopefully not painstakingly dull for the audience) but rather one of good conversation, connection, and great fun.

Photo Credit:  Shawna Lemay

Photo Credit: Shawna Lemay

International Juried Exhibitions


And then autumn came, and I was honoured to be accepted into 3 major international juried exhibitions: the Federation of Canadian Artists “Limitless” exhibition, The Federation of Canadian Artists “AIRS” exhibition, and the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour 94th annual “Open Water” exhibition. I won’t go into detail about each competition here but suffice to say, it was a flurry of framing, filling out forms and shipping. (For more information visit the current exhibition page.) I was a bit disappointed to miss travelling to the openings, but alas, preparations for my annual November exhibition are all-consuming this time of year.

“N.O.L.A.” charcoal | 10.5 x 30”

“N.O.L.A.” charcoal | 10.5 x 30”

Crema.jpg

“Crema” Watercolour | 14 x 9” (22.5 x 18" framed) | CSPWC Open Water Exhibition, Leighton Centre, Calgary | Sept. 28 - Oct. 27 2019
”Crema” will be available at the 26th annual exhibition on November 7.

“N.O.L.A.” (Charcoal, 10 x 29.5”)
Sept. 30 - Oct. 18, 2019 | Federation Gallery
1241 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, B.C.

I am grateful to Canada House Gallery for parting with this piece for the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “A.I.R.E” exhibition. I don’t normally enter paintings that are at the gallery but since acceptance into these competitions is always a long shot , I took the chance as a last minute thing, fully expecting a rejection letter. After the end of the exhibition, it will be returning to the gallery in time for “Joy” the annual Christmas Exhibition on November 29. (more on that later.)

Alpine Club of Canada Mountain Guides Ball

I have donated “Winter’s Keep” (giclée reproduction #30 of 50) to the Alpine Club of Canada’s annual Mountain Guide’s Ball Silent Auction, in support of the ACC’s environment fund. Online bidding closes at 9:15 October 19. There are lots of great things to bid on besides art - gear, books, outdoor experiences, accomodations etc… For more information on the ACC and the important work they do, visit Alpine Club of Canada.

Winter's Keep.jpg

26th Annual Exhibition

This brings us to the next major happening, the 26th Annual one-night exhibition held at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton on November 7. I am feverishly finishing the paintings, ordering frames, and juggling the myriad of details required to bring the show to life. It is still a scary and stressful time, even after 25 years. Certainly there are tasks that get easier and more efficient, but time saved on one detail gets spent on another self-imposed bright idea (or not,) so the level of complexity in the preparations seems to grow each year. Hopefully the result is a pleasurable evening for everyone who attends, whether they are collectors, art appreciators and supporters, or volunteers.

26th Annual banner.jpg

The preview is almost complete, with one more painting to be released for online viewing on Thursday, Oct. 24 for a total of 6. The exhibition will be comprised of 26 paintings, unveiled and available for purchase at 5:00 p.m. November 7. If you are new to the exhibition and wish to receive an invitation, contact us. (*Please note, the hotel is not a sponsor or host of the exhibition, and any questions about the event should be directed to Annesley Studio.) If you are coming from out of town or would just like to have a micro-holiday, we have arranged for a special rate at the hotel. Enquire here


My feeling is that after this divisive and attention-stealing soul-eviscerating federal election campaign, we will all need an evening out to simply enjoy each other’s company in the company of paintings in beautiful surroundings. Hope to see you there.

Balancing

It seems to me that each year is one long crescendo, starting with a relatively clear slate in January and ending with the frenetic busy months of November and December. As any artist / self-employed person knows, one of the biggest challenges is how to structure your time when there are very few parameters. In January, the horizon looks pretty clear to me, with that wonderful anticipation and curiosity of what the year might bring. Ideas, opportunities and obligations start to accumulate, and decisions need to be made as to what is important, what is possible.

So here we are, all of a sudden, well into May a.k.a. mid-crescendo. Spring has sprung, summer is sown, and the year is speeding up and filling out. Paintings are evolving, exhibitions are scheduled, trips are planned. I am fortunate to love what I do so completely that I have to crowbar myself out of the studio to tend to the other necessities of life - to rest and recharge, spend leisure time with loved ones, broaden horizons, get some daylight. It is a happy yet tricky balancing act.

Here are some of the events filling out this year:

Associates of
The Vancouver Art Gallery

I am honoured to welcome 17 Associates of the Vancouver Art Gallery (AVAG) for a studio tour next week. As part of their national travel program, the Edmonton tour will also include a visit to the Alberta Gallery of Art, the new Royal Alberta Museum, the Aga Khan garden, and various local restaurants. Edmonton will no doubt impress them with its beauty, culture, hospitality and neighbourliness.

“Sunshine” | Charcoal | 21 x 29” (33 x 41” framed) | for Canada House Gallery Demo Days Exhibition

“Sunshine” | Charcoal | 21 x 29” (33 x 41” framed) | for Canada House Gallery Demo Days Exhibition

Art Live at Canada House Gallery

August 17, 2019

I am pleased to be a part of the annual Demo Days exhibition at Canada House Gallery in Banff with five painters and two sculptors. We will be demonstrating our processes in the gallery on Saturday, August 17, and exhibiting six new works each. As I have not painted “in public” since studying at the University of Alberta, I am admittedly a bit nervous. My process is slow and probably tedious to watch. There are no dramatic brushstrokes, no flourishes of sumptuous impasto, and very little physicality, just painstakingly small and controlled strokes. Pollock I am not.

Nervousness aside, I look forward to sharing the experience with fellow gallery artists Robert Lemay, Terry McCue, Sheila Kernan, Kerry Langlois, Paul Reimer, and Neshka. If you are in Banff that weekend, drop by and say hello.

26th Annual Exhibition | November 7, 2019

“Edifice” (working title) watercolour | 25 x 40” (40 x 54” framed)

“Edifice” (working title) watercolour | 25 x 40” (40 x 54” framed)

The event that gives my year most of its shape is the annual November exhibition. I build a collection of paintings over the whole year, then exhibit it for one night at Edmonton’s Fairmont Hotel Macdonald - a kind of crescendo for my work. One of my professional goals was to reach the 25 annual exhibition mark, which happened last year. Some people wondered if I would continue with “the show,” as 25 years is a long time to do any one thing.

My answer is…absolutely.

The exact format may change slightly to make sure it stays current, focused, and enjoyable for all involved, and in balance with my gallery commitments. We will be sure to inform you of any changes well in advance. More details of this year’s exhibition will be announced on June 7th, along with the first of five paintings to be previewed online each month leading to the exhibition.

Wrapping up the Year

It is not easy to summarize a year without getting trapped by either too much detail or forgetting major events entirely, but here is my attempt. 2018 has been a whirlwind of a year having had 2 solo exhibitions including my 25th Annual, and one group exhibition, as well as several trips to the Rockies and further afield.

“Wildlight,” my second solo and fourth major exhibition at Canada House Gallery in Banff, opened in the spring and was very well received. The work explored how light changes our perception and experience of landscape and architecture.

Light sculpts the landscape with shadow, gradation and highlight, paints surfaces with unexpected colour, softens edges and sharpens lines. It can transform a cold winter’s day to golden warmth, or illuminate hidden detail in dark interiors, forests or river beds. Light can change the unremarkable into the unforgettable.
“Lightshow” Watercolour | 26 x 38” | Private Collection

“Lightshow” Watercolour | 26 x 38” | Private Collection

I pushed the tolerances of watercolour in pieces such as “Lightshow” with an array of warm dark shades and intense colours at the very limits of saturation.

The wonderful window seats at Rundle Lounge at the Fairmont Banff Springs remind me of a loge at an Opera House, with your own private view of the stage. The show here is the sun rise painting Cascade with warm light, a row of light posts outside like footlights on a stage, and the viewer has the best seat in the house to watch the unfolding scene. Warm leather and wood contrast with cool snow, the order and elegance of the architecture are a foil to the wilds outside the window.

Something I’ve been experimenting with over the past several years is combining watercolour and charcoal, a technically difficult and unconventional technique that solves a number of visual issues. Both mediums have always been central to my work, but I hadn’t endeavoured to mix them until about 5 years ago when I took the risk (there is no going back or erasing colour from a charcoal drawing in my experience) on a nearly - complete charcoal drawing and have been enamoured with the technique and aesthetic ever since. It is now an established and recognizable part of my “toolbox” resulting in pieces such as “Wildlight” and “Crimson Castle.”

“Wildlight” | Charcoal & Watercolour  42 x 28” | Private Collection

“Wildlight” | Charcoal & Watercolour

42 x 28” | Private Collection

“Crimson Castle” | Charcoal & Watercolour  43 x 30” | Private Collection

“Crimson Castle” | Charcoal & Watercolour

43 x 30” | Private Collection

We travelled to New Orleans after the Wildlight Exhibition, then I needed to finish the paintings for The TREX exhibition. At the same time I was planning and working on my 25th Annual Exhibition, “Silver” held in November. The landscape, architectural and still life paintings were based on 25 years of travel at home in Canada and abroad. I certainly felt the import and significance and yes - pressure, of the twenty-fifth annual. To do anything for 25 years in a row is probably not too common, but to do it on the same night at the same venue with many of the same volunteers and guests is an entirely different thing, a bit of a unicorn. Many guests express their gratitude and appreciation for the consistency of the show, something they enjoy and anticipate each year, and I am grateful in return for the enthusiastic support I have received over the years from my friends, family, volunteers and collectors. Thank you. Looking forward to what next year brings!

“Morning Light” (Watercolour) 25 years ago we chose the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald as the venue for my annual exhibition for its architectural beauty, historical and personal significance and location atop Edmonton’s river valley.

“Morning Light” (Watercolour) 25 years ago we chose the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald as the venue for my annual exhibition for its architectural beauty, historical and personal significance and location atop Edmonton’s river valley.

We were fortunate as well to undertake 2 back country trips with dear friends, canoeing Maligne Lake in Jasper, and backpacking into a remote part of the Canadian Rockies. Not only do these adventures challenge and strengthen mind, body and friendships, they provide fire and fuel for new paintings. At the moment we are planning our winter adventures in the Rockies, with new work to follow in the spring.

As the year comes to a close, I would like to wish everyone the best of the season. May you celebrate what is important to you with those most important to you. See you in 2019!

“The Backcountry” Watercolour 21 x 7” (Private Collection)

“The Backcountry” Watercolour 21 x 7” (Private Collection)

Paper things and new beginnings...

For many, fall is the time of year for new beginnings more so than January 1. New teachers and friends at school, new clothes and supplies, these memories are etched deeply. I still get excited for fall and the beauty and newness it brings, the bounty of fruit and preserves, harvest and cooler weather, the coziness of the indoors and a wood fire… I could go on. Some recently purchased new brushes, paint and paper bring to the surface those memories of new school supplies. I’m trying a few new tools and a new charcoal at the suggestion from the excellent people at The Paint Spot in Edmonton.

Artsupplies.JPG

To mark my inclusion in “Plate Tectonics”,  an Art Gallery of Alberta and Alberta Foundation for the Arts exhibition travelling Alberta from 2018 - 2020,  I have produced a set of 5 x 7” cards with the images of all four paintings in the exhibition. (Click here for more information.)

Trexcollection.jpeg

I also decided to release a small edition (25) reproduction of “Precipice,” one of the included paintings. I rarely reproduce my work and this is the first of my landscapes ever to be reproduced - more on that later. I am pleased to donate one of the prints to support the Alpine Club of Canada at their annual Mountain Guides Ball in October. More on that later too.

Reproductions.JPG

The other new paper thing is the invitation to my annual exhibition. The wonderful team at Pioneer Press in Edmonton finished these well ahead of my original deadline in order that they could be in the mail before the possible Canada Post Strike. They should be arriving in mailboxes soon, about 3 weeks earlier than usual. Email invitations will be sent in early October. If you are not already on the guest list and would like to be, please enter your email here

Let’s see now, new watercolour paper, new art cards, a new reproduction, the latest invitation, and what else… paintings. Always new paintings.

Silver, The 25th Anniversary Exhibition

As I prepare for the 25th Anniversary of my annual exhibition at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton on November 8th, I can hardly believe it's been 25 years, in the same venue with many of the same volunteers and guests.  There are some who have not missed a single show, and for many it has become their own annual tradition.  I am grateful to all who support the exhibition with their presence and enthusiasm, their patronage and by spreading the word about my work.

"The Quarter" | 24 x 42" | Watercolour

"The Quarter" | 24 x 42" | Watercolour

This milestone exhibition of 25 new paintings will reflect the architecture, landscape and objects of many places I've travelled to over the years including this year's trip to New Orleans.  It was a thrill to re-visit the 300 year old city again, as it was the the first major trip to inspire my architectural paintings, and the 1997 exhibition was largely based on its historic architecture and gardens. This year's paintings will reference and explore this influence along with several other favourite places across Europe and Canada.

Wildlight Exhibition, a Follow-up

I am finally coming up for air after my Wildlight Exhibition at Canada House Gallery in Banff, the crescendo being the artist's reception on April 14.  It is an honour to see a collection of your work hanging in a lovely gallery space with other artist's work, as a dear friend said, "in conversation with each other." I am overwhelmed with the response, with many new collectors, seasoned collectors, family and friends in attendance, along side the excellent Canada House gallerists.   I've spent the last week decompressing a bit, obsessing over comments made, questions asked, answers given.

One recurring question is "how long does a painting take" to which I have tried to answer with an estimated number of hours at the easel, which I think is the intent of the question.  I'm just not good at answering this as I lose track of hours after the first few days and realize the difficulty and futility of counting. My painting process is certainly time-intensive but hours at the easel are only part of the equation. My answers haven't accounted for the research part of my process which involves traveling to find subject matter and taking the detailed reference photos I use to inform a painting, or in the case of the still lifes, finding objects to set up and light.  I don't account for the preparation of the painting surface, framing, packaging, materials research and so on.

Other, wiser artists respond to the how long did it take question, with "it took a lifetime" which I used to think of as vaguely defensive and snippy even, and probably an unsatisfying answer to receive.  It has taken me almost 30 years as a full time artist however, to realize they are right (I'm a slow study) - a lifetime is a more accurate answer.

IMG_0114.jpg

Another frequent question is "how do you part with the paintings?"  It is an honour when someone lets go of with their hard earned money in exchange for one's work, a satisfying and affirming adrenaline rush.  Secondly, parting with one's work leaves space, in all senses of the word, for new work to happen.  There is nothing more energizing and full of possibility than a blank canvas, so to speak.  And so with a clear head and clear studio, I have space to work on new paintings and am grateful for it.

The available works can be seen at Canada House Gallery

"Bow Mist" | Charcoal | 41 x 31" framed

"Bow Mist" | Charcoal | 41 x 31" framed

"Mille-stone": Measuring a career thus far.

As I finish the final few pieces for my upcoming "Wildlight" exhibition at Canada House Gallery, it has just occurred to me that I have just reached a major milestone in my career -  1000 paintings.  I'm not sure if measuring a career this way is useful or wise, but it is kind of interesting - or at least interesting to me. (note; The paintings have varied in size from 6 x 6" to over 5 feet long. I produce only 4 to 6 large paintings each year, with the majority scaling down from there.)  Ok here it goes...1000 paintings, 28 years as a full time painter (4 years part time,) 75 exhibitions, 28 international publications and nearly 900 collections worldwide.  (I must say it makes me feel a bit old. )

There are other important figures that are not included here because I have not kept a good record, so I will call them countless.  Countless collectors, friends, family and fellow artists that have been supportive of my work in so many ways, countless volunteers that have helped with my annual exhibition over the years, countless kilometers traveled on foot, ski and canoe searching for reference material.

There are many others to thank that are not countless, but are instead rare, including art suppliers, frame suppliers and of course the wonderful team at Canada House Gallery, where I've been represented since 2008 (a 10 year milestone.)

I am grateful for all of it - this gift of being able to make art and to make it my career.   As of today, I have started work on the next 1000 paintings, and can't wait to share them with everyone. Oh, and the next milestone will be my 25th Annual one-night Exhibition in Edmonton, "Silver," Nov. 8, 2018.

IMG_1764.JPG

Wildlight

How light changes our perception and experience of
landscape and architecture. 

Upcoming solo exhibition at Canada House Gallery, Banff, April 2018

Wildlight 1000px.jpg

I have been working on my solo exhibition at Canada House Gallery in Banff, opening April 18, 2018.  "Wildlight" will be a cross-section of landscapes and architecture focusing on dramatic light, as experienced through travel in and around the wilds of western Canada. The invitation painting "Wildlight" (watercolour & Charcoal) is inspired by a ski trip up to Stanley Glacier near Vermillion pass in Kootenay National Park.  The sun is very low in the afternoons in mid winter, gracing the landscape with oblique sweeps of light and long shadows, highlighting the shape of snow and delicate lines of trees, and sparkles off running water. We are heading out to that part of the world over new year's, in pursuit of more wild light. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

24th Annual Exhibition, the Follow-Up

IMG_1416.JPG

Finally, there is time to come up for air after the annual exhibition, which opened on November 9th at Edmonton's Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.  That morning we hauled 31 paintings to the exhibition space and spent the next 4.5 hour installing, lighting and labeling  them with our team of four.  Flowers, furniture, music, were arranged, a purchase desk assembled, details obsessed over, then we retreated to our rooms for a short break before meeting our larger volunteer team at 4:30 and opening the doors at 5:00 p.m. At 10:00 p.m. the whole process is done in reverse, and the entire installation is moved back to my studio in the morning.

IMG_1394.JPG

 

The exhibition went very smoothly, except for the complete technical meltdown whereby we couldn't get our online exhibition running at 5:00 as promised (!)  It didn't get solved until around 8:00, so my apologies to those who were let down.  We will do better next year.

 

The evening is the premier of the 2017 paintings - the first 5 hours when the public can view the work.  Over the next few weeks, the available paintings will be shown at my studio and at Canada House Gallery in Banff. Contact us to make arrangements for viewing.

Finally, a thank you to all of my volunteers, guests, collectors, and travelers, and the many businesses I work with to make it happen. 

Although we are all exhausted and it seems a long way off, we're very much looking forward to next year's 25th Anniversary Exhibition, "Silver."

IMG_1395.JPG

International Watercolour Society Competition

I just received some happy news from the International Watercolour Society, about my painting "Ascent" (42 x 24" | Private Collection.)

"From over 1450 paintings your entry has been selected as one of the 150 finalists in IWS Canada’s ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’ contest. Your image has been included in a special Canada 150 celebratory video which has just been published on Facebook and on YouTube. The painting will also be featured on our website iwscanada.ca.

Thank you for helping us to celebrate our nation's 150th birthday."

https://www.facebook.com/IWSCanada/videos/1958732467674118/

Exhibition Update

Edinburgh Web.jpg

The 24th Annual Exhibition "Scotland" is approaching fast.  Though it seems like November 9th is a long way off, there are a thousand details to accomplish between now and then.  In addition to finishing the paintings (just a minor detail!) frames need to be ordered, an e-invitation designed and mailed, hotel catering details finalized, volunteers confirmed.  I finished designing the invitations which are currently at the printer - with a press check next week and a stuffing bee to follow, they should be in the mail in the first week of October.  When the paintings are completely finished, I photograph them for my archive, then frame them all over a few days.  Then it's pricing, titling and packaging them up for the short trip through the valley to the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald on the morning of the show, but more on that later. The next preview image will be posted on October 9.

Card Shop

By request of a dear friend and collector, our packages of greeting cards are now available from our website. Yes, greeting cards - old school analogue paper cards that you write on... with a pen no less.  🖋️ We accept Paypal, credit cards and Apple pay. We currently offer greeting cards in packages of 5 cards with white envelopes.  If you are interested in a mix and match approach, email us with you preference for images ( by title ) and we will assemble your custom package.  Cards are printed coated card stock for a clean and saturated image. 

Summer Newsletter

The Summer Newsletter has been mailed out.  Click on the image below for a link.  If you would like to receive the newsletter and exhibition invitations in your inbox, please Subscribe Below.

Summer Newsletter

Plate Tectonics

Jennifer has been invited to be part of TREX, a travelling exhibit produced by the Art Gallery of Alberta and funded by Alberta Foundation for the Arts . The exhibition entitled "Plate Tectonics" and curated by Shane Golby will travel Alberta from 2018 - 2020.  Five Alberta artists were chosen, each exhibiting 4 landscape paintings representative of a wide spectrum of styles and philosophies.

The AFA's Travelling Exhibition (TREX) program strives to ensure every Albertan is provided with an opportunity to enjoy fully developed exhibitions in schools, libraries, health care centres and smaller rural institutions and galleries throughout the province. Here is a link to the current TREX exhibition http://www.youraga.ca/exhibitions/trex  For more information, visit the AFA website.

Architecture of Landscape Exhibition

Thanks to Canada House Gallery for a successful solo exhibition of my new body of work, "The Architecture of Landscape," exhibited April 6 - 16, 2016.

The exhibition was composed of 22 new landscapes, architecture, and still lifes, exploring the architectural qualities of landscape, in terms of structure, strength, line, and geometry; and how architecture relates to it’s surroundings or landscape, with architectural and still life elements as a landscape in themselves.  These watercolours and charcoals mainly focus on Alberta’s wild and chaotic Rocky Mountains contrasted with Architecture, both local and European. Our terminology of mountains especially uses architectural language ie. spire, castle, buttress, fortress, column, cathedral and so on, and it feels natural to use these terms when experiencing the mountains.