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Jenna Stewart

Artist & Author

 

01 about

I draw.

I draw, mostly with conte, where I enjoy the indelible marks that are accompanied by a sense of a fleeting existence. Every mark on the page is at once permanent and transient, for the conte is entirely unforgiving yet easily smudged. The paper the marks are made on is so easily wrecked by just about anything; an unexpected breeze, a poorly placed elbow or a missed sip of coffee.  The very nature of a drawing is delicate and short-lived until trapped under glass. It is these conflicting ideas of creating something everlasting and yet easily short lived that give drawing a dual identity; practice and purpose. Drawing is my roots, for drawing was my first love and it comes the easiest to me. I don’t do it often enough, but when I draw I do so from a place of contented confidence. I am reminded of the little girl who spent her free afternoons colouring on the front porch; the teenager who spent her spare in the empty art room on double art days which amounted to an entire morning of art every week; the young woman tackling university with an alarming amount of naivety, that found confidence in a room of artists when a pencil or chunk of charcoal was in her hand. I draw.

I paint.

I paint, always with acrylic on wood board. Through practice I have learned to understand acrylic, and using a smooth wood canvas allows for clean lines and flat edges, as well as messy organic blends of colour directly on the wood. Painting on board with acrylic can sometimes be tricky, as a water based paint on a hard wood surface has very little to absorb into. Instead it floats on the surface and I call upon my draftman skills to place it where I want it. As the air quickly dissolves the water, I am left with coloured marks and sometimes hints of the woods surface peering from beneath. I build my acrylic paintings up from that light wash of colour to the imagery I wish to portray, often leaving some hints of the woods original story within my brush strokes. When I paint I do so from a place of curiosity and exploration. Each mixture of colour and each touch of the brush to the board different then the last, holding a question in it; asking my hand how it will respond to the subtle diversity in the unfixed nature of acrylic on board. I like to believe it is my fingertips that command the colours, but in reality I think it is the opposite of which is happening. I paint.

I write.

I write, as I find pleasure in stringing ideas together that have meaning. There is a deep intimacy in writing as it is at once a solitary thing, yet it's very purpose is to engage another. I don’t dream of ever writing anything profound or life changing, I leave that to the J.K. Rowlings of the world, but when I write I do so from a place of impulsive desire. My best writing is when I go to my keyboard or journal organically, when my body unconsciously takes me there. I let my thoughts spill onto the page and I get to experience a moment of empowerment. In the act of writing my jumbled up thoughts transform themselves into words on a page that manage to make more sense then I ever imagined in my head. I write.
 

02 portfolio

 

03 book

When you turn the pages of There is This Place, you enter into a simpler time. Slowly take in my original artwork, and be reminded of the beauty in our world. Travel back to your roots. Turn off the computer, put your phone down, and look up. Notice what is all around you. Discover the extraordinary in the ordinary, and you will find that real magic truly does exist here on earth . . . and even right in our own backyards. Remember, sometimes, the most beautiful is the simplest.   

 

04 contact

 

Please contact me for inquires about originals that are available and limited edition prints.

jenna@jennastewart.ca