The past 4 months have been so strange and hard for so many people in the world. So much suffering and injustice. First COVID-19 and then the killing of George Floyd. So many important and uncomfortable conversations about racism followed and are still ongoing. I found it very hard to paint and draw during these few months and to be honest, didn’t spend much time in my studio.
Then in June, we got the opportunity to rent a remote cabin. No wifi and most days, not even cell coverage. It was amazing to be unplugged for a week, in the middle of nowhere right beside a lake. I became so aware of all the sounds of nature and for the first time in months, I felt less stressed and worried. Just listening to the birds’ chirping made everything better. I know I am very privileged to feel that way because my friends and family are all safe and healthy. But I realized how watching wildlife and reconnecting with nature made things more bearable. I found myself pulling out my watercolors and ink and painting and drawing for hours.
Perfect timing because a month later I got an email from the gallery asking for a short write-up on my next exhibition scheduled to open in May 2021. I had to think about it for a few days but having these drawings and having experienced nature’s healing power, it seemed like a good starting point. I am very much in the early stages and don’t know exactly where it will go yet but I am playing around with watercolors, ink, and embroidery and also want to play with oils and embroidery on canvas. It’s exciting to dive in and see where I will end up.
Here is the statement I provided to the gallery today:
Exhibition title: Healing Power
A series of works exploring the beauty of nature and wildlife. The relief this beauty provides during tough times and the hope it symbolizes for humans to live in peace with each other and nature.
Please take care of yourself and your family. Wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance (sorry no hugs) and just be safe. COVID is not over and we need to be smart. And keep having those uncomfortable conversations about racism. That’s the only way we can all learn and be better humans.
Growing up in the Swiss alps I always felt a deep connection to nature and cared about protecting our environment. I am sure my parents were at times annoyed by their teenage daughter giving them lectures about recycling and sustainable living. I didn’t realize though that they took what I said to heart until this summer when my mom told me that to this day she turns off the water in the shower while shampooing her hair. What seems like a small thing to do, she had done for over 30 years because of what her teenage daughter told her. It filled me with hope and it proofed to me that we can all make a difference by changing our own way of living and educating others.
As a teenager (circa 1990) with handmade environmental activism poster on my wall “Please be nice to mother nature”
Expansion of environmental activism message to throw pillows. 🙂 (circa 1994) “Please be nice to mother nature”
Over the past couple of years, the environmental crisis has been weighing really heavy on me and I have been working on a series of encaustic paintings about the impact humans have on wildlife.
Our oceans are full of plastics, our forests are on fire, the ice is melting, sea levels are rising and animals are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate. As average global temperatures rise, the land and all the species that live on it suffer: Heat waves, droughts, hurricanes, and dust storms are growing more intense. The rising temperatures combined with other ways in which we have degraded forests, prairies and shorelines around the world now put food security, human health, and ecosystems at grave risk.
It is becoming urgent that we significantly reduce our emissions, consume less, buy sustainable products, eat less meat and plant trees. Based on a report issued by the UN and the world’s leading climate scientists we have less than a dozen years left for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. Anything beyond this will have a significant impact on our lives as we know it. I truly believe that we can turn this around by making an effort. We don’t need to live a perfect zero-waste lifestyle but if enough of us make some changes to how we live the impact will be immense.
Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird, and mammal go extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” rate and is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs. The thought of so much wildlife going extinct is very sad and I want to do everything I can to protect what literally has provided inspiration for my art for the past 30 years.
My hope is that this newest exhibition helps to increase awareness about the negative impact we have on our wildlife and that it provides inspiration to take action to protect our world and its wildlife. Each painting within this series tells the story of a Manitoba animal and one of the reasons why the animal’s survival is increasingly challenged such as deforestation, loss of habitat or global warming. 10% of all sales will be donated to a local organization Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (PWRC). Their goal is to rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife in Manitoba and to successfully release them back into their natural habitat. I am very impressed with Pulse Gallery for agreeing to donate 10% of any of my sales to this amazing cause. It’s very heartwarming!
From Sept. 1 – Oct. 31 Pulse Gallery at the Johnston terminal at the Forks will be featuring a few of these works and for one night on Friday, Sept. 27 (7-9pm), all works from this series will be on display. I hope you can join me for a night of art, wine, snacks and feathered friends from Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (they are bringing a couple of owls they are currently rehabilitation).
A couple of days ago the Winnipeg Jets announced the schedule for round 2 of the playoffs against the Predators and game 7 (if needed) will be taking place on May 10. Considering this I have decided to move the opening night of my exhibition to the next day – May 11, 7-11pm.
Go Jets Go and see you on May 11 at cre8ery gallery!
The opening night of my solo exhibition “Layers” is only 1 month away. This week I finished my last painting and most of my sculptures. Lots of things still to do such as the naming of all works, working on an installation and of course promoting the show.
This series of work consists of encaustic paintings, illustrations, and sculptures.
The works within this exhibition are an exploration of human existence and identity. We all have different layers to our personalities, due to the various roles we play in our personal lives, our careers, and the fundamental personality traits we were born with. We put on masks for protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment, and some experiences can cause cracks in our layers. Some of our layers arevisible and some are hidden, but at the core, we are more alike than different. Over time, we end up becoming complex human beings with many layers. To truly see somebody for who they are, do we chip away at those layers or is this accumulation of layers what truly makes us into who we are – complex and beautiful.
Each of the encaustic painting and hand-painted nesting dolls is aportrait. Each layer of wax within the paintings expresses a different part of the subject’s personality through abstract landscapes, photography, transfers of graphic patterns, and illustrations. The nesting doll sets each consist of 3 dolls and are hand-painted using acrylic paints. Each doll depicts an animal symbolizing a part of the subject’s personality.
The clay sculptures focus on the damage life can cause. Instead of hiding our imperfections we should embrace them and realize that allexperiences, good or bad, make us into who we are. This philosophy is underlined through the integration of the centuries-old Japanese art of Kintsugi, through which broken pottery is repaired with 18k gold, showing that if we embrace our history we become more beautiful.
Here is a sneak peek of some of my pieces and a fun promotional video for the show.
The exhibition will be at cre8ery gallery and runs May 10-22. The opening reception will be taking place on May 10 from 7-11pm. After May 10 the gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday noon-6pm and Saturday noon-5pm.
I hope you can all make it to the opening night on Thursday, May 10, 2018, 7-11pm.
See you at cre8ery gallery, 2nd-floor – 125 Adelaide, Winnipeg
I wanted to share some of the media coverage I have received for my current art exhibition “perception” at cre8ery gallery in Winnipeg.
The exhibition is still running until March 24, 2015 and the gallery hours are Tuesday to Friday noon-6pm and Saturday noon-5pm. I will be at the gallery this Saturday from 2-5pm and on Tuesday from 2-6pm. Come by for a private tour!
Thanks everybody for the ongoing support!
CTV News – interview with Jesse Carlson – aired on March 17, 2015
The opening night of my solo exhibition “Perception” is only 4 days away . I am busy with lots of final preparations and with preparing for my parents arrival on Tuesday. I am very excited to show this new series of work consisting of illustrations, screen prints, encaustic paintings and a large format installation. This series is based on the idea that two people can have the same experience but perceive it so differently. While working on my last solo show “Home Sweet Home,” I discovered that my perception of growing up is quite different from my brother’s – that it’s not only people, events, and experiences but rather our perception of those that makes us who we are.
I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you all to the opening night on Thursday, March 12, 2015, 7-11pm at cre8ery gallery, 125 Adelaide, 2nd floor. I hope you can join me for this exciting night!
In case you are wondering what I have been up to over the past 2 years… well where to start. I have had very little time for my art due to my new job as the Senior Project Manager, New Media at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. It’s been inspiring, crazy, tiring and rejuvenating all at the same time. The museum fully opened on November 11 and I switched my attention from opening a museum to getting ready for my exhibition. It’s been a lot of long hours but hey I was already used to that after working at the museum. I have loved being able to get lost in my art again and being able to spend 8 hours at a time in my studio creating and playing.
This new series being exhibited consists of illustrations, screen prints, encaustic paintings and a large format installation. Here is a sneak peek of what I have been working on… More details on the opening night to come in the next few days but please mark your calendars – the opening night is taking place on March 12, 7-11pm at cre8ery gallery in the Exchange.
I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my exhibit closed. I have been taking some time off to take care of the business side of things. I had to do my accounting for the year and file my taxes, finish all the orders from my exhibition and just take a little bit of time off. It was nice to have a bit of a break and I feel ready to get back into it again. Last week I started taking a screen printing class at Martha Street Studio. I have always wanted to learn how to screen print but never got a chance to take it in Fine Arts, so now I am finally doing it. The first class was really interesting and I am excited to start playing. 8 weeks of classes – yeah! Stay tuned for some pictures of what I will be creating over the next couple of months.
I wanted to share some of the beautiful pictures that the fabulous photographer Dave Swiecicki took during the opening night of my solo exhibition. I also did a walk through video for all my friends and family in Switzerland that didn’t get the opportunity to be there in person.
It’s been a couple of days since opening night and I have caught up on some sleep. What an incredible night! The gallery was packed. There were so many people who I knew and I spent all night talking to people and still feel that there were so many I didn’t have a chance to chat with. I am overwhelmed by the support I have received from the media before and after opening night along with the support of my friends, family and the art community. I will never forget this special night. Thank you everybody for making this such a magical night. So far I have sold 6 paintings and 9 photographs. If you missed opening night, the show is still on until April 3 at 6:00pm. Hours are Tues & Thurs: 12:00pm to 9:00pm and Wed, Fri, Sat: 12:00pm to 6pm.
Here are some links to some of the coverage I got:
The opening night of my first solo show “Home Sweet Home” is one week away . I am busy with lots of final preparations and with preparing for my parents arrival on Sunday. I am signing off my blog until after the opening night but I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to the opening night. Thursday, March 22, 2012, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. at cre8ery gallery, 125 Adelaide, 2nd floor. It’s going to be a fun night with lots of Swiss food and music.