Kitchener artist Jennifer Gough paints big, bold and colourful canvases that draw you in. They make you feel things; things like curiosity, excitement and delight.
“I try to live a life fuelled by my passion,” says Jennifer. “Painting large-scale, abstract pieces in vibrant colours reflects the ‘hugeness’ of my passion and I love using my creativity as my voice.”
Jennifer’s work chronicles the complex elements of human nature: determination, fear, passion and motivation. “I can best capture these emotions in an abstract format,” she says. “I use texture to subtly represent the obstacles we face, and it gives the work a greater depth and contrast, which I love.”
As a social media-savvy artist and entrepreneur, Jennifer understands that a successful career as an artist has to move beyond the studio. “Having spent many years in retail, I know that social and sales go hand-in-hand,” she says. “Social media allows me to communicate and deliver my art to a wider audience and have engaging interactions with my community.”
And community is important to her. Her studio, Mind’s Eye Studio Art (MESA) also doubles a gallery for other artists. “I love all kinds of art and downtown Kitchener, which houses massive artistic talent, is supportive of our creative efforts,” she says. “Arts and culture add to the richness of people’s lives and by hosting other artists in my studio, I can share that with my community.”
In 2011, Jennifer put out a call for artists to contribute to an exhibit called FUEL, centred around the question ‘What fuels your passion?’ Artists from Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Toronto participated and the show was big success for both the artists and the gallery. “We also raised money for the KW Food Bank and it turned into an opportunity to support talented artists, contribute to my community and lay the ground work for MESA as a recognized gallery.”
Keen on technology, Jennifer creates time-lapsed videos of herself working on a piece from beginning to end. She feels people who appreciate art enjoy connecting with her work on a deeper level and this can offer a window into her creative process. Her site also includes a video of her recent Ignite Waterloo talk, which was one of the best experiences of her artistic career. “This was such a departure from how I try to inspire people through my paintings, but I am so passionate about the message of what inspires us, that it felt natural,” she says.
Jennifer is a dynamic, engaging person whose paintings and artistic promotion is making downtown Kitchener and Waterloo Region a greater cultural haven. Keep up with her on Twitter.
P.S. Jennifer’s favourite topic of conversation: If you could do or be anything, what would it be?