As we were unable to host a grand opening for “Lyrics of the Land”, you also lost out on asking the artists questions about their work, methodology, and hearing stories about their painting adventures. Well, you are in luck. Over the next few weeks, each artist will be featured with a quick Q & A. We hope you enjoy getting to know these creative women and gaining deeper insight to their artistic process. With a twist, we also asked the artists about their go to music when creating, as when they are out on the land there is a symphony of sounds. -- Curator Andrea Jackman
Meet Jenn Wilkins from Collingwood...
What makes your studio environment linked to the land which you depict?
I am very fortunate to have my studio at the "Tremont" located two blocks from the Bay and a view of the escarpment, ski hills,and trails in Collingwood. The artist community at the Tremont and at large has had a very positive influence on my approaches to landscape painting. Bill Franks a fellow artist, good friend, and mentor (an A.Y Jacksons student) has been very influential in opening my eyes to the magic of landscape painting, different techniques, exploring "plein air adventures” and learning to see things from a different point of view.
Where is your go to site for inspiration? Why do you need to paint it?
My go to site is anywhere on Georgian Bay from Collingwood to North Bay. The Bay is ever-changing, every day, every hour! The water can look like you’re in the Bahamas some days and like the Arctic other days. The sparkle on the water is so magical the strength and grounding of the Canadian Shield a resonating comforting force, and the incredible skies and cloud formations entertaining. I need to paint Georgian Bay landscapes, because our wonderful Canadian Landscape has etched a place in my heart and is in my soul!
When you are out scouting for inspiration, what sounds resonate with you until you get to the easel?
Mostly the sound of the water, and wind resonate with me until I get to my easel.
When creating at the studio, what music do you listen to? Is it always the same?
Oh my goodness so many songs to choose from.... I like to listen to Spotify and whatever mood
genre I happen to be in on that day, and in that particular moment! I am very eclectic in my choices from Xavier Rudd "Spirit" , "Baltimore" Nina Simone , "Cold little Heart" Michael Kiwanuka, "Beyond Borders" Jesse Cook, Kaleo "I want More" and tunes like "Bust A Move" - Young MC and "Conga" Gloria Estefan which always gets me smiling and dancing up a storm while I'm painting.
"Look Out Point"
"Influenced by Tom"
Go to song to start the day?
“This Must be the Place”
Do you have any phrases or words written in your studio?
What are they and why are they there?
Yes a quote by George Bernard Shaw:
You see things and say
But I dream things that
never were and I say
This quote gives me the confidence to reach for the stars.
I also have another one by Degas:
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."
This reminds me that a successful painting will have a strong emotional response for the viewer.
After receiving her Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from Western University, Jenn traveled extensively. She started in Europe and ended up in Cape Town, South Africa where she lived and her passion for painting was rekindled. Jenn continued to paint through the 1980’s and 90’s taking workshops in between raising a family.
She is currently a full-time professional artist working out of her studio, along with other artists, housed in the historical Tremont in Collingwood, On. Her work is widely sought after to fill a variety of spaces Internationally and across North America from corporate to high rise condos to Georgian Bay cottages. Her paintings have appeared in our homes magazine, numerous Galleries, Designer Boutiques, and professional offices.
Jenn is currently a member of The Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, Purple Hills Arts and Heritage Society and the Collingwood BIA.