Shortly after enrolling at the Ontario College of Art with the intention to pursue formal training in graphic design, Jennifer Harrison was introduced to the work of several self-taught painters from the early 20th century. Making a distinct impression upon her, Harrison decided to swiftly change her artistic focus and began to paint.
Harrison’s primary sources of inspiration have been old houses, garages and fences. Spending years exploring working-class neighbourhoods, she pays particularly close attention to how the details of their residences change over time; early brickwork covered in tar paper, peeling paint in different colours, striped aluminum awnings replacing ornate trim. She then translates these observations into works that reproduce these residential landscapes as a kind of painted sculpture. Her technique involves the application of thick coats of impasto, carving the wet putty on the canvas with paint scrapers, knives and brushes and then finishing the work with coloured oil paint.
Jennifer Harrison has exhibited extensively across Canada and the United States. Her works are held in private collections in Canada and the U.S, and the corporate collections of TD Canada Trust, Remax Canada, and Microsoft Corporation Int’l to name a few.