TORONTO painter Janna Watson’s new Vancouver exhibition “Finding Joy” is a title that will resonate as something everyone trying to do.
In Watson’s mixed-media works on wood panel, the paint itself seems to emote and express itself in swirling, lushly organic ways—sometimes offset by graphic shapes. The way the paint and ink sweep, loop, and fold in on each other in her new large-scale paintings somehow provides a sense of freedom and escape from the confinement we’re all faced with in this strange socially distanced time.
Watson calls these gestural expressions “moments”, and in the process, she makes abstract art vulnerable, honest, and deeply human, without being figurative. Her bold strokes and unapologetic style draws you into her collection. These and other new paintings of hers are all on display at Bau-Xi Gallery till January 2023.
The artist began producing two-fold reversible rugs in 2014, which The Globe and Mail described as “modern fusion of functional art and high-end craft.” In 2014, she was featured on House & Home, and in 2016, her “Big Swoop” exhibition was shown at DesignTO. She was also included in Azure’s list of “5 Emerging Designers That Rocked Toronto Design Week” same year.
Watson credits her grandfather an abstract artist and landscape painter as her early mentor and a major influence on her art.
Janna who graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design University in 2012 has exhibited her paintings in Vancouver across Canada, and across the globe.