queen west art gallery

Meet Jessica Robbins!

What inspires your art?

In a word: colour. I know that sounds simplistic, but I thrive on bright and bold colours. I love colour and look for it everywhere! I take photos of anything that catches my eye, whether it's traveling or simply day-to-day life, and get a lot of ideas for colour palettes from life. My process can also be very collaborative. The majority of the pieces I have created have been special requests. While working with a patron may seem to allow for less freedom, it is so flattering to be asked (and trusted) to paint something so personal for someone. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and produced some of my best work.

“Magnificent Mile” acrylic on canvas (20”x 20”) $300

“Magnificent Mile” acrylic on canvas (20”x 20”) $300

Can you talk about your process? What tools do you use to create?

I work with acrylics primarily because they allow for the bright, bold colour palettes with which I love to work. While mostly brush work, I like to experiment with different tools and techniques to add variety to my work. Especially when working on abstract pieces, I use palette knives to layer paint in different ways and then add washes of colour to help unify everything on the canvas. Almost no brushes are used in the making of the abstract pieces in the show!

“Jaxx” acrylic on canvas, courtesy off Jessica Robbins.

“Jaxx” acrylic on canvas, courtesy off Jessica Robbins.

When did you first discover art? Are you self-taught or did you go to school for it?

I always loved art class in school. I had such a passion I knew I wanted to make it my life. I studied Fine Art (and Law) at the University of Guelph and was able to experiment with so many different mediums. In school I worked mostly in sculpture, wood working, metal works, plaster mold making, I love using my hands. Painting came a bit later, but it is where I found myself. Friends started asking for small pieces (my first few requests were dog portraits) and over the past six years I have been able to work at my own pace and really refine my style. I am also a high school art teacher and am so lucky to be able to share my passion with my students and be surrounded by something I love every day!

Jessica Robbins

Jessica Robbins

What is your personal goal as an artist?

At the beginning of 2019, my goal was to work towards an exhibition in a public space. Getting the show at Twist was a huge accomplishment for me. Moving forward, I would love to continue to work towards more shows in the GTA and creating pieces for a solo exhibition. One of my pieces for "Energy" is a streetscape of Kensington Market and I would like to work towards a series of similar pieces inspired by different neighbourhoods around the city. Toronto has such a rich diversity of architecture which lends itself very generously to artwork.

“Kensington” acrylic on canvas (24”x 48”) $850

“Kensington” acrylic on canvas (24”x 48”) $850

Do you have a particular piece that has a special connection to you?

I loved working on Kensington. The colours, the inherent culture, the vibrancy - everything about the neighbourhood shouts "Energy". I really wanted to showcase this in my painting and am happy with the result. My artistic collection of work varies from portraits to abstract pieces, but this was the painting that tied everything together. I used this piece as the focal point for my show as I am most proud of it.

Energy at Twist

Don’t miss out on this exhibition Queen West! Be sure to visit us at 1100 Queen Street West and check out our newest artists featured. Our doors are open every Tuesday to Saturday from 11am till 6pm.

You can call us at (416) 588 - 2222 or email your questions and inquiries to info@twistgallery.ca.

And since you’re here, why not browse the Twist Artist Showcase? CLICK HERE.

To see what’s Upcoming at Twist Gallery CLICK HERE.

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