Jennifer Annesley is a Canadian artist from Edmonton, Alberta. Her charcoal and watercolour paintings are based on the exploration of historic architecture and landscape at home and abroad, through backcountry exploration and travel.
“In 2005 a group of friends and I spent 3 nights at Abbott Pass Hut. We ascended in perfect sunny late September weather, but just as we reached the hut the weather had turned. We closed the door behind us the wind whipped up and temperature plummeted. For a few brief moments, an opening in the clouds let the sun highlight the shoulders of Lefroy, Glacier and Ringrose Peaks, while Mt. Biddle, Yukness and the Schaeffer ranges lurk in the background. I reluctantly left the shelter and hastily took a series of photographs while my husband Neil held on to me and the door of the hut for stability against the wind. The light lasted mere minutes, then the snow started and lasted the entire time we were there,” Annesley recalls.
“Happily snowed-in, we had plenty of food and helped another group of hikers who came late the following night, a little unprepared and hypothermic. Anyways, we had to spend an extra night waiting for a break in the weather, and finally descended in waist-deep snow. We loved every minute.”
The experience resulted in an “unexpected” series of 7 paintings; unexpected because Annesley rarely paints the same scene or from the same set of reference photographs, but the sheer beauty of the experience keeps drawing her back. The challenge of capturing the sense of vertigo, distance, fleeting sense of light, and the precariousness of position and weather captivates her.
Jennifer was elected by jury to the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (C.S.P.W.C.) and the Federation of Canadian Artists in the year 2000. Her work resides in collections such as the University of Alberta, The Peel Art Gallery Museum and Archives, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. In 2006, she received the highest watercolour award in Canada by the the C.S.P.W.C., the A.J. Casson medal.
In her Edmonton studio, Annesley produces approximately 40 paintings per year, taking from 10 to 300 hours each. Her paintings are recognized for their realism, dramatic light and atmosphere, and balance of elegance and power, achieved through her unconventional use of watercolour and charcoal. Annesley’s annual one night exhibition is held each November at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald since 1994.