Canadian painter Janna Watson uses abstraction as both an escape from, and return to the real. Watson’s paintings are carefully created by balancing loose, sweeping gestural mark-making with think, rigid lines. This complex, painterly language takes centre stage in Watson’s artistic practice, making her work immediately identifiable.
Janna Watson’s paintings gesture toward the familiar, stopping just short of representational. The resulting bundles of colour provide depth as they play on the backgrounds of slow, chromatic gradation. To Watson, abstract painting is not the retreat of meaning into an unrecognizable realm, but the emergence of the medium as a “figure” in its own world of feeling and being. Watson does more than reveal paint’s potential to emote, she gives it a space to reveal itself, in its own time.
Janna Watson holds an honours degree in Drawing and Painting from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Since graduating, she has exhibited extensively across Canada and internationally in over thirty solo exhibitions. Her work has appeared in notable public collections including those of TD Bank, CIBC, Telus, the Ritz-Carlton, ONi ONE, the Soho Metropolitan Hotel, and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2013, she was commissioned to create an impressive, 11-foot painting for the lobby of AURA, Canada’s tallest residential building.
Janna Watson’s paintings circulate regularly at international fairs, including Art Toronto, CONTEXT Art Miami, and in Seattle, where they were recently featured by Artsy in its list of “10 Works to Collect at the Seattle Art Fair.” Watson’s work has been covered by publications such as The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, and House & Home.