All images copyright © Jennifer Foster

There is a saying that “art is the demonstration that the ordinary is extraordinary,” and it is this idea that motivates my work. My drawings and paintings are an appreciation of the everyday world. When we take the time to look carefully at our surroundings, we discover that there is a great richness in everyday life: colours, textures, shapes, the quality of light . . . these are only some examples of the beauty that surrounds us. I try to capture the positive things found in everyday life and convey the feelings that this richness inspires—the peace and grandeur of the landscape, and the warmth, dignity, and inner strength of people.

A quiet, contemplative kind of beauty appeals most to me, regardless of whether my subject is the landscape or the human figure. While I enjoy trying to capture the moods of the landscape, figurative work appeals because it has a narrative quality—portraits, nudes, and other scenes in which the figure predominates can tell a story. Painting the human body always presents a challenge: although we all share the same underlying structure in terms of bones and muscles, every single body is unique. And that is why figurative painting can be so compelling. The human body is universal—it’s “where we live” and it comes within everyone’s knowledge and realm of experience—and yet despite that sense of being universal and common to everyone, every figure portrayed is an individual, and unique.


Jennifer has studied at the Ottawa School of Art, and has also studied privately with recognized Canadian and American artists. Her work has been shown in several venues, including Toronto's historic Distillery District, the Varley Gallery in Unionville, and the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto, and the Cumberland Gallery in Ottawa. Jennifer shows her work regularly at the Foyer Gallery, and artist-run centre in Nepean.

Her work is in private collections in Canada, the United States, and England. She is a member of the Portrait Society of Canada.