Jennifer Williams is a painter, whose work is rooted in her love of the wild, natural world as well as the movement and structure of the human body. Williams grew up on a remote sheep station in rural Australia, which fostered her boundless imagination, deep respect for the power of natural forces, and understanding of the wild and surprising growth patterns of flora and fauna.
Her paintings are alive with color and light, and expertly capture the essence of free, uninhibited growth. In her compositions, recognizable plants mingle with botanical creations that spring from Williams’ own imagination and memory. Her vantage point sites the viewer directly within the midst of the plant-scape. Taking the perspective of an insect, one is surrounded by large, riotous flowers and muscular, uncontained vines that seem to spill beyond the edges of the canvas. There is tension and excitement in Williams’ compositions as she depicts the struggles and triumphs of plants as they contending for light and life. She is a close observer of nature’s rhythms, patterns and revelations. Her reverence for the unpredictable, awesome, and sometimes violent states of the raw natural world informs her botanical scenes.
In addition to keenly observing the natural world, Williams brings an acute sense of perception to detect physiological misalignments in her work as a movement therapist. She has long studied movement as a form of rehabilitation, and founded and operates a Pilates studio to aid people with acute disabilities. Williams has discovered that – as with nature - the human body offers up secrets to those with the understanding, insight, and patience to observe. In her painting process and therapy practice, Williams relies on sharp powers of observations to make assessments and address complicated and changing structures. She formulates a plan, yet remains agile and attuned to necessary modifications as she proceeds. Connections between her understanding of ecosystems and body systems are evident in the imagery, structure and fluidity of her painted compositions.
Williams has a BA in Business Communications and has studied Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design in New York and at Rowayton Arts Center and Silvermine School of Art in Connecticut. She has exhibited her award-winning work at venues in both Connecticut and in St. Johns in the US Virgin Islands, where she splits her time. She currently maintains a studio at Art Studio collective in Westport, CT.
My fascination with wild flora and fauna began in childhood in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains in Australia. With the spring flowers came wonderful surprises in the form of change, color, light and astonishing new growth. Many years of travel, study and working abroad have further enriched my appreciation for new flora, wildflowers and their curious possibilities.
In addition to art and nature, I am also passionate about movement and the physiology of the human body. For years I have taught movement to people as a strategy for rehabilitation and find myself expressing movement through gesture, form and fluidity in my paintings. I regard my subject matter - flowers and trees - as beautiful figures dancing expressively. I envision the fresh, wild scents, the humming rhythm of the forests, the vibrant colors of young sprouts set against the diversity of vast, lush vegetation. I paint to express the freedom, excitement and surprise of new growth.
I paint with oils and watercolors; and I work on paper, canvas, and metal. I use transparent paints to texture, shape, and explore form. I often begin by applying an acrylic base with my hands, then I use large brushes to layer translucent oil paint. Then I work on glazing and detailing with my brush. When I want to amplify the thick density of plant material I work on paper or canvas, as those surfaces absorb the liquid paint to provide areas of deep recesses. Brushed silver aluminum is the perfect substrate to convey luminosity and reflection. Since paint adheres to the surface of the metal, unpredictable, mysterious shapes emerge, lyrical patterns develop, and glimmering lighting effects are amplified.
My paintings often begin with an intention, but evolve into abstract expressions as I let the paint and my response play out within the composition. My finished pieces are like a dance: wildflowers rhythmically dot the scene like notes on a musical staff, patterns and gestures communicate the sway of movement, and energy and soul are expressed as myriad plants struggle and thrive in equal measure as they reach towards the sunlit sky.