Jennifer Lawson was born in Yorkshire and at an early age she began to soak up the brilliant colours around her, the warm tones around the country cottages, and trailing over garden fences. Her young eye was seduced by the sight of rich Indian textiles and lush patterns while traveling in India in the late 1960s, and that too has found expressions in her exuberant and charming paintings.
She has earned two honours art degrees, one from the University of Guelph and another from Geoergian College where Jennifer received the scholarship for highest achievements and best student. She studied further at the Ontario College of Art and Schneider School of Fine Art.
Having exhibited from Massachusetts, Montreal and Toronto to Vancouver and Seattle, Jennifer has received many awards. Her work has been shown at, among others, the Art Gallery of Kingston, York Fine Art Gallery, Robert Mclaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Windsor Art Gallery, Jubilee Gallery, Indiana, and Albany Institute of New York.
For more than 40 years, Jennifer has been a ‘plein air’ painter, absorbed in natural wonders: the interplay of light on early yellow aconites or the fleeting patches of mist hovering over luscious green lichen covered rocks. Also a lover of heritage and a dedicated conservationist, she paints only in watercolour on pure rag paper. The ephemeral seemingly breathless beauty of this medium is intensified by her refreshing impressionism and delightful imagery. The thrill of painting in watercolour is all about the beauty of translating feelings with brushstrokes of colour.
Jennifer lives the life she paints at her warm and welcoming historic home overlooking the Cowichan Estuary. Her art reveals her as an optimist who is absorbed in the beauty around her, whether it is a quaint cerulean blue bench nestled under a blossoming tree, a highland cow standing knee-deep in luxuriant grass, an inviting tea service laid out on a wheelbarrow, or idyllic-looking home set in a bucolic countryside.
Her work is in many private and permanent collections, nationally and internationally, including that of former Lt. Gov. David Lam, Ed Broadbent and the late Judy Lamarshe, the permanent collection of Georgian and Seneca College, as well as many schools, libraries and corporations. They are also reprinted on many greeting cards, ltd. edition prints and business cards, which are seen coast to coast.
Jennifer is the founder of the first Studio Tour outside of Ontario, and is now a proud memeber of the prestigious Cowichan Artisans, a year round tour with special Open House weekends in Spring & Fall. www.cowichanartisans.com
Jennifer was thrilled to be Bermuda’s Artist in Residence in 2013 and to have a show at the Bermuda Masterworks Museum.
“Painting is an expression of my perennial love affair with life and the beauty around me. As I gaze out of my 1863 log house studio, down to the Cowichan River and Bay where I swim all summer or up to Mt Tzuouhalem, to a sacred peak where I hike every day, I am in awe of the rich spectrum of compositions that unfold. I like fresh air and old linens, architecture and antiques and whether painting an old milk jug filled with sweet peas, a riotous country garden, Victorian house or bowl of sun-warmed peaches, I’m looking to express a wider experience, a vivid harmony, a balance of energy, form and beauty.”
Jennifer also donates her works for fundraising campaigns for several nonprofit organizations such as CNIB, the Cancer Society, Cowichan Therapetic Riding and the Cowichan Hospital.
Jennifer’s painting depicting the beauty of the ‘Green Door’ contributed greatly to stopping development right in the centre of town: a beautiful old building and grounds were preserved. Jennifer’s painting and prints were donated & her notecards are used by the MLA who is now based there.
Early on in Jennifer’s career , her painting of an Uxbridge Ontario coach house appearing in the paper saved it from destruction – inspiring a couple to open it as the Penny Farthing Pub in another locale!
Jennifer is a founding member of CERCA (Cowichan Estuary Restoration & Conservation Association) and organized -along with the president and Island Savings – an extremely successful gala art fundraiser dinner last fall.
The Jennifer Lawson Gallery
Jennifer owns ‘Vancouver Island’s most historic gallery’ – a warm and welcoming log house overlooking Cowichan Bay and River. She opened the ‘Jennifer Lawson Gallery’ – in 2003 – in this venerable location. The Gallery, nestled between the sea and majestic Mt. Tzouhalem, is the oldest house in Cowichan and is situated amongst old churches on the river and a bird sanctuary. It is well worth a visit!
The Gallery features original framed watercolours, giclees on canvas, prints and cards.
I am open most days of the year – but I paint on location – so please call ahead to confirm!