Jennifer Walden

North Slave
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Artist Story

I love being out on the land and having the chance to see wildlife. Here, we are a pocket of humanity on the edge of wilderness.

Painting is very cathartic for me. The animal subjects of my paintings are essentially a vehicle, which can convey varying emotions. I often see my paintings as a self-portrait of sorts. As a mother I identify with the “mother bear image” protective, fierce and gentle all at the same time. I paint a lot of bears.  

My work is heavily influenced by my surroundings. Whenever I hit a “dry” period in studio, the equivalent to “writers block”, it usually means I need to get out for a big long hike and spend some time with my muse – nature herself. I love working on mural size paintings – the bigger the better. I love the challenges that the scope of a large painting brings.

My work is highly textural. I use a variety of acrylic mediums to create elements of deep relief. The paintings pop off the canvas, for me this helps to capture the feeling of the wild.

Artist Bio: 

Jennifer Walden is a successful visual artist living and working in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Her creative drive represents a lifelong quest to unite her love of nature with her passion for creating art.

At age 13, Jennifer moved abroad with her mother, living first in East Africa and then south India. She discovered her first muses while sketching giraffes and elephants in their natural habitat during school field trips to game reserves. Members of the Kasakela chimpanzee community at Jane Goodall’s research station in Gombe Stream National Park served as some of the aspiring artist’s earliest live models.

Living overseas allowed Jennifer to experience some of the most captivating, untouched, natural places on the planet. Art was a method of processing the wonder she saw in these places. During high school in India, a teacher recognized her passion and abandoned the traditional art curriculum. She placed the artist in front of a giant canvas and instructed her to fill it in four months. She did – and so began her serious study of art.

Jennifer came to Yellowknife in 2002 and now thrives as a leading member of the city’s arts community. As co-founder the Borderless Art Movement (BAM!), an innovative collective of visual and performance artists, she enjoys collaborative projects and has produced her first short film. She recently returned from a four-month sabbatical with her children in Tuscany, Italy, where she studied Renaissance painting techniques and Italian fresco.

Last Updated: May 29, 2023

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