acrylic on canvas 36 x 36 inches 2019 signed and dated on verso
Ask a Chinese Canadian for their favourite candy, and there is a good chance it'll be White Rabbit. It has been a national icon since the 1940's and for example, was given by Premier Zhou Enlai to Richard Nixon during his famous 1972 visit to China.
In this piece, I wanted to capture different aspects of the classic Art Deco detailing on the waxed-paper wrappers, so chose a close-up arrangement in a bowl. In the end, the shading proved to be very complex.
Jeff Wilson grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland & trained as a structural geologist. He worked in mineral exploration around the world, settling in Vancouver in 2004, and took art classes at Emily Carr University, kick-starting a hobby that transitioned to a full-time art practice in 2013.
Jeff’s painting collections have exhibited widely in public galleries in BC, Alberta and Washington State USA. Highlights include the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Port Moody Arts Centre, The Langham, Okotoks Art Gallery, Smithers Art Gallery, Gibsons Public Art Gallery, ACT Gallery, Bellingham City Hall and the University of Washington Law School.
Jeff has received a number of awards, including Finalist in the inaugural Saltspring National Art Prize, appeared in the recent “Landscape Artist of the Year Canada” TV show, and received two Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants from the Vancouver Foundation. Jeff has completed residencies at the Booth in Shetland, Parks Canada’s Art in the Park and the Wallace Stegner House. His work is held in numerous private, public and corporate collections, including Alexco Resource Corp., BC Children’s Hospital, Firehall Arts Centre, Le Dressay and Company, Lion’s Gate Foundation, MOI Solicitors, Salmon Arm Art Gallery, SimplexGrinnell, Smithers Art Gallery, Town of Okotoks, Union Gospel Mission, Vancity Credit Union, Vancouver General Hospital Foundation and Victoria Gold Corp.
Commercial representation includes Gray Sky Gallery (Seattle, WA), Hambleton Galleries (Kelowna, BC), Kube Gallery (Fort Langley, BC) and Van Dop Gallery (New Westminster, BC) and YKLM Auctions (Richmond, BC).
Jeff Wilson is based out of Portside Studios in Vancouver.
Jeff Wilson Artist Statement
I want to produce acrylic paintings that are immediately recognizable, based on dynamic compositions, unusual subjects and vibrant colours. Acrylic is a great medium for rapid and intuitive brushwork that retains a certain freshness and spontaneity.
As a trained geologist and an immigrant from Scotland, I get great inspiration from close observation of the Canadian landscape and built form. I tend to organise compositions in geometric, structural terms. Often the subject will be those quirky aspects of Canadian life that generally pass unnoticed.
Regardless of the actual subject, I find my greatest inspiration from chance encounters of light, colour & geometry. Reference photos form the foundation to a given work, capturing spontaneity & movement of a specific time & place. Building on this foundation, I build the painting with the inspection and discrimination required by the discipline.
This collection is part critical analysis & part love-letter to the salty, sweet and fatty world of junk food that we all know. We all want to eat right, but is it ever hard to resist the sparkly shiny packages near the checkout in pretty much every store near you.
Junk-food packaging has a particular character, and exhibits a series of common characteristics, including vivid colours, stars and stripes, silver foil, transparent windows, cartoon characters, bold lettering; and prominent statements about nutritional value.
I love looking and thinking about all these elements, which are a great source of inspiration for pieces with vivid compositions and colour combinations.
When done right, you will get hungry just looking at them!