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The intent of my artwork is to explore the zone between enormous and minute, close and far, simple and detailed. I paint colourful subjects that I find in the urban centres, or rural gardens. I tend to zero in on a small part and then enlarge it to oversize to give it impact and to draw attention to these (often) unnoticed details.
I am both a photographer and a painter and while I sell my photographs and have published some books of them, I primarily use them as inspiration for my paintings. I begin with my camera to examine my subjects closely, searching for little details where light and shadow unite to create a strong visual design. My photographs are then transferred to a computer where I experiment with compositions and colours I will use in my oil paintings. I prefer to paint on huge canvasses to maximize my subject’s physical and sensual presence. I want my work to be powerful and to explode from the canvas with brilliant hues.
Recently, my work has also investigated reflections within reflections: tricks of light that make you wonder whether you are inside or outside of the picture plane.
I am also experimenting with various media, including encaustic paints (with wax), oil and acrylic on aluminum and covered in epoxy, etc., all with the purpose of moving creatively forward.
These series are my expression of seeing things in an unusual way, an “altered” state of seeing, and translating it to something people can recognize, envelope and experience. I paint as an expression of my joy in finding ‘something’ so strange, so beautiful, and ‘alive’ from a tiny source of inspiration. My current body of work represents my search for extreme pleasure in colour. I have an opportunity to escape the ordinary and allow my emotions and feelings to be expressed freely through that colour. My paintings are not meant to be painted for a specific audience or ‘collector’ per se, but as a challenge to me to be able to translate what I see into a viable, excitingly creative presentation.
Capturing these qualities is a challenge of which I never tire. As these series progress, they are becoming larger, stronger and more abstract.
Jennifer Lawton received her B.A. from the Art and Art History program at both the University of Toronto (Mississauga) and Sheridan College in Oakville. She then received her B. Ed. from the University of Western Ontario.
After 25 years of teaching Fine Art and Photography at the secondary school level and several summers teaching workshops in Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France, Jennifer retired early to paint full-time in oils on canvas. Working with adults now continues to keep her hand in teaching.
Jennifer has developed a multi-media technique that includes acrylic paint on photographs (mounted on aluminum) that are then sealed with epoxy. This creates a highly realistic, almost surreal effect that looks like it’s behind glass. She continues to push this technique and her creativity with it.
As the “Artist in Residence” at Quest Art in the Midland Cultural Centre in January, 2013, Jennifer was experimenting with encaustic and oil paints, acrylics and anything textural. As a complete opposite to her “smooth as glass” epoxy surfaces, these new paintings are meant to be touched and the surface feeling of the works are most important.
Jennifer’s art is held in private and corporate collections including two large medical clinics (one in the U.S.) and a College in Canberra, Australia. She exhibits her work in a number of galleries and art shows each year, throughout Ontario and Alberta. Jennifer won the “Mayor’s Purchase Award” for the City of Toronto in 2010, and that piece is now hanging in Toronto’s City Hall. She has published three books of her work and images of her art have been published in magazines, newspapers, journals, newsletters and web sites.
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