We recently visited artist, Jill Thomson at her home studio to discuss her recent painting, La Strada Matinee which is part of her Urban Garden Series. A piece she has also generously donated for auction at this year’s Art on the Block fundraiser.
For Thomson, Art on the Block is an opportunity for local artists to connect with the public, art-lovers and give back to the community: “It’s exciting to see your work on the website and displayed in the gallery. I’m so thankful there are people who passionately appreciate and support art in Edmonton”.
When thinking about what to donate this year, she said, “I wanted to donate something that was a current passion of mine and a work from my Urban Garden Series”. She describes La Strada Matinee as a showcase of active street-life and shows us where she has even painted her own daughter into the work. “I engage in contemplative painting where I enter the environments I paint. My life experiences are always present in my art”, she shares.
Thomson paints urban landscapes where the grid of urban life is changed through the use of vibrant colours, scenes of bright city life, gardens and flora. They are celebrations of neighbourhoods, where cityscapes are transformed into active outdoor living spaces depicting neighbourhood houses, city architecture and public space.
In fact, the vivid colours of La Strada Matinee seem to burst from the canvas, so I ask her about her media of choice; “I paint in oil and also in watercolour. Over the last few years, I have been primarily painting large oils on canvas." Interestingly, now she exclusively uses walnut oil to avoid turpentines and get the colour she desires. “I like using walnut oil. It’s an old medium and I really appreciate good pigments,” Thomson says as she looks up at her work.
If you would like to see more of Thomson’s work she currently has twelve art pieces for rent and purchase at Art Rentals & Sales on the lower level of the AGA. If you want to be the proud owner of La Strada Matinee featured in this article join us for Art on the Block on May 24th. Early bird tickets are available now.