Jennifer Lawton fine art painting & workshops
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Painting-A-Day Challenge!
McMichael Autumn Artisan Market Fundraiser
Artwork Sell-Off!!!
Update: All the news that's fit to print!
Nature's Teachings
Carnival Jewels Door and Series!
Revamp of Website!
Paintings Can Be Seen "In Situ"!
Corporate Purchase!
Comments from the Midland Cultural Centre Quest Art Gallery Show
Opening of "The Bay: Moving Waters"
Adding New Paintings almost every day...
Local wins Mayor's Choice award in Toronto
An Explosion of Colour and Feeling, written by Jennifer Harker
An Explosion of Colour and Feeling, written by Jennifer Harker
Big, bright, bold. As the exhibition title teases, the gallery is hung with massive canvases overflowing with dramatic colour. The works are a vast departure from Lawton’s traditional watercolour works in miniature with many of her earlier framed pieces measuring just one inch by two inches. Two events played a role in Lawton’s transformation from miniaturist to covering large-scale canvas in colour. In 1992, this longtime art and photography teacher moved to Canberra, Australia to conduct classes with Grade 11 and 12 students. Stepping off the plane, she had a momentary panic. The colours of this southern hemisphere country were a revelation. “I’d never seen them before and had no idea how to mix them.” Lawton quickly overcame her initial shock and learned to incorporate these new colours in her work.

Lawton quickly overcame her initial shock and learned to incorporate these new colours in her work. Back home in Canada, Lawton survived the wicked ice storm of 1998 that paralyzed eastern Ontario and Quebec. She survived, but her houseplants did not. Returning home after 17 days, Lawton said, “All of the plant life had died and it got me most upset. I went into Brockville and bought every tulip I could find in every store.” She photographed the displays of colour and, when she really looked at the photos, Lawton said to herself, “Look at this colour. It deserves to be painted.” A brilliant series of paintings emerged. Initially, she admits to being terrified, facing a blank canvas measuring 48 by 60 inches and tackling it in oils instead of her familiar watercolour palette. “It was really quite a challenge.” The experiment was a success and a doctor bought 23 of the canvasses for his Dayton, Ohio hospital and medical clinics. After years of basically painting and teaching full-time, a decision loomed. Turning 50 in 2004, Lawton said, “Enough is enough. I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore. I wanted to follow my passion. I sold my house and moved to Toronto and lived like a bohemian in a loft.” That decision quickly ate up her retirement savings, she said, and Lawton chose to move to Coldwater where she’s pursued her passion for painting ever since. Lawton describes her work as an “explosion of colour and feeling.” “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 field, garden, or at the market. 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.” Currently attracted to still life, Lawton is enjoying exploring the play of light on the undulating surfaces of fruits, vegetables and candy. “This series is 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. It is 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.”