Known for her abstract paintings and textile designs, Canadian painter, artist and designer Janna Watson credits her grandfather as a major influence on her art style and as an early mentor.
Watson who graduated from the Ontario College of Art & Design University in 2012, in an interview with NOW, commented that “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.”
In Watson’s mixed-media works on wood panel, the paint itself seems to emote and express itself in swirling, lushly organic ways—sometimes offset by graphic shapes.
Janna calls these gestural expressions “moments”, and in the process, she makes abstract art vulnerable, honest, and deeply human, without being figurative.
In 2012, she collaborated on a multi-media exhibition with Katrina Tompkins at the Toronto Design Offsite Festival.
Watson began producing two-fold reversible rugs in 2014, which The Globe and Mail described as “modern fusion of functional art and high-end craft.” In 2014, she was featured on House and Home. In 2016, Watson’s “Big Swoop” exhibition was shown at DesignTO. That year, she was included in Azure’s list of “5 Emerging Designers That Rocked Toronto Design Week”.
Her paintings have been exhibited at galleries such as the Foster/White Gallery in Seattle, the Bau Xi Gallery in Toronto and Galleri Couture in Stockholm. In February 2016, Watson’s “There Is No Dimmer” series of paintings were debuted at the Bau Xi Gallery in Vancouver, exhibitions in Canada and the United States.