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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wildlight

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

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

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

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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.

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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."

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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

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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. 

Painting Video

Enjoy this new short video explaining Jennifer's painting process.

 

Painting

For the past several months I've been working on my exhibition for Canada House Gallery - the new pieces will be posted on their website next week. I've also been working with friend /musician/ film maker/fellow explorer Glenn Thorpe (Back-Forty Productions) on a short video about my painting process for the Canada House Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwUhKgoOKvHPMZo4Iid1YtQ. A huge thanks to Glenn for his expertise, creativity, and patience!

Posted by Annesley Studio on Friday, 4 March 2016

International Artist Magazine Grand Prize

"Alpine Prospects" | Watercolour | 28 x 38” (42 x 52” framed) has been accepted through two juries to be featured in International Artist Magazine's April/May landscape issue. This piece is based on a sunset I was lucky to see while staying at the Alpine Club of Canada's Elizabeth Parker Hut at Lake O'Hara . Thunder rolled in from the west, while last light illuminated the spectacular peaks of Yoho National Park, reflected in the perfectly still kettle pond near the hut; the calm before the storm. It will be part of "The Architecture of Landscape" exhibition at Canada House Gallery April 6-19.

 

The Architecture of Landscape, Solo Exhibition

Solo Exhibition  |  Canada House Gallery, Banff Alberta  |  Artist's Reception: April 16, 2016


An exploration of the architectural qualities of landscape, in terms of structure, strength, line, and geometry, and how architecture relates to its surroundings, the landscape.  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. The theory of Prospect and Refuge is a secondary theme of many of the works, that humans are most comfortable when they have the capacity to observe (prospect) without being seen (refuge,) - being protected while having a view. The exhibition will be comprised of both landscapes and architecture, and a small number of still lifes in architectural settings.


"Ascent" draws from our scramble up to Abbott Pass Hut near Lake O'Hara Lodge in Yoho National Park (The 2nd-highest permanently habitable structure in Canada At 9598 ft., straddling the Great divide between B.C. and Alberta Alpine Club of Canada.) The ascent up quartzite ledges and scree gullies is steep but the views are dizzying and well worth the effort. I hoped to capture the feeling of vertigo, looking down some 2100 ft. to the lake, with an impending autumn storm rolling in from the west - the precariousness of position and weather. From the emerald jewel of Lake Oesa at the bottom, the eye ascends the shoulders of Glacier & Ringrose Peaks to Mt. Biddle towering in the background. Fleeting shards of light contrast with shadowy pinnacles looming like gargoyles on a cathedral.