Jenny R. Johnson is a Halifax-based artist, whose work combines influences of Realism and Impressionism. Jenny's subject matter ranges broadly from figurative to landscape, but the underlying theme of her practice is an ongoing exploration of light and colour, and how each impacts and informs our perceptions of the world around us. She has a particular interest in capturing contemporary photographic subjects in the classical medium of oil painting.
Jenny's most recent work, Scenes from the Multiverse, is an ongoing love letter to the sci-fi and genre characters and moments that have inspired her imagination as a self-described "lifelong geek." In Scenes from the Multiverse, Jenny continues her exploration of light and colour, and endeavours to capture character and narrative in large-scale oil paintings.
Born and raised in Baddeck, on Cape Breton Island, Jenny grew up in a family of creative souls, who encouraged her interest and talent in a variety of artistic media. Her subsequent pursuit of artistic happiness led her to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with concentrations in painting and art history.
Jenny currently maintains a studio in her home in Halifax, where she continues to develop and expand her painting practice. Her work has been featured in a number of exhibitions and galleries in Nova Scotia, and can be found in numerous private collections, in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia.
"I'm particularly drawn to photographic sources, which allow me to deeply explore a moment in time- from the slightest change of a facial expression, to the flash of light and colour as the sun breaks through cloud cover.
In Scenes from the Multiverse, I look for images that not only depict the characters in a way that I find interesting or iconic, but I also look for lighting and colour palettes that FEEL authentic to those characters or spaces. I try to recreate the subtle colour changes, especially in the skin of the characters I paint, so that, for example, the colour of the light reflecting up at Han Solo’s face feels like it’s coming from the console of the Millennium Falcon. Human skin is incredibly reflective, so the closer attention I pay to the way light and colour hits a face, the more I can suggest the rest of scene that is outside of the boundary of the painting.
I was taught, growing up, to really look at the world around me- to see the beauty even in the smallest things. It is, in many ways, a lost art, and in my paintings I try to encourage viewers to remember how to look at the world that way."