Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Janna Watson

artist statement:

Line has an invisible and tangible ability to transmit energy and information. Line is what weaves forms and thought together and guides the eye through volume, space and time; it makes my thought process visible. Thoughts are triggered by outside influences, physically processed, and then sent outward once again. Thoughts cannot be possessed. They are simple, sometimes intruding, fleeting and completely intimate. They are the structures that manifest into real life with uncomprehendable potential. These are the qualities imbued in line. Line is used as a metaphor in my work, for the lifespan of a thought caught on canvas. It also symbolizes my opposing yet symbiotic lifestyles visible in the tension between organic and geometric forms. When I am painting, I strive to communicate the ideas I am digesting which give form to the

Interview from NOW:

Describe your process of creating a piece. What materials do you normally work in?

I mostly work in acrylic because I am too impatient for oil paint to dry. My process is very intuitive so I never pre-plan what is going to happen. I recently realized that dirty paint water is full of unusual colour sediments (the older the better!). I usually start with a wash and will come back to it to create forms and then I will trace over the forms with ink. Recently I have been using resin which I think is a very Toronto thing - but I love how it magnifies colour. Shiny! Lusty!

What projects are you working on? What do you have coming up, any shows?

I just finished a solo show at Median Contemporary Gallery and will be at the Queen West Art Crawl in Bellwoods. I also very recently started working with Bau-Xi Gallery so there will be a show there soon but no dates yet. For the past year I have been working on a book of poetry called "Be Careful to Fall in Love with a Poet." It is a compilation of drawings and my bleeding type writer. I think it will come into the light soon. I also just found an old cello on the street, I am going to fix it and learn it.

When are you most productive?

When I don't have to do anything else but paint. I am really only good at doing one thing at a time in my life. I find having to work another job really distracting. I am also very productive when I am in love or when I feel the darkness. Even though I am really emotive, I actually don't believe in inspiration when it comes to my painting. The magic always happens when I decide to do my work no matter what time of day or mood I'm in.

When did creating art become something important in your life?

A few years ago I was working full time in a job I hated and had no time to make work. I was really miserable and unfulfilled in my life. The more I discovered the joy and meditation in creating, the fuller my life became and more opportunities opened up for me. My work is my fire and spirit and everything.

What are some of your favorite spots in the city? Some favorite places to go, eat, drink, bike ride?

Trinity Bellwoods is like my back yard. It's nice to watch silly dogs or drink secretly on a blanket. I like the juke box at the Communist Daughter, the babes at the Beaver, the espresso at Moonbean, and grilled Salmon at Sidecar. I ride my bike to and from all these places. I feel like Mary Poppins on my bike.

What are you currently obsessed with? Any blogs, pod casts, films, artists?

The internet makes me feel crazy. I would rather sit with a book. I am presently reading "The Spiritual in Art" by Kandinsky, "Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame" by Bukowski (my favourite poet) and "Emotional Wellness" (ha) by OSHO. Osho is so wise. I'm obsessed with the work of Cy Twombly, Arthur Bonnet (my late grandfather), my dear friend Sojo.

What are your thoughts on the Toronto art scene compared to everywhere else you've experienced?

I think that Toronto doesn't really take artists very seriously. Of course people in the art scene are serious about it- but I feel like I have a hard time telling people I am a painter when asked what I do with my life. The response of Toronto is more like- "oh really, well what else do you do?" I feel like in a place like New York when asked the same question, the response would be more like- "Oh cool where do you show?" Every kind of person in New York goes to art openings. The Toronto art Scene is kind of WASPy.

What is your survival food? Cheap eats for the starving artist?

Good friends who cook me dinner! $1.25 samosas and $7.45 bottle of Zion.

Any last words?

"Some people never go crazy- what truly horrible lives they must live." - Bukowski

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