The Paint & Sandpaper Side
Inspired by Alfred
“Look up. This sky won’t happen again.” The best advice ever received, was spoken by Jennifer’s grandfather – she was five at the time. Alfred, an artist in his own right, said that any texture worth painting could be found in his collection of driftwood. Offers were made for pieces from his vast collection, but he never sold anything found on the forest’s floor or by water’s edge, on account of it being “priceless”.
Though work moved Jennifer to the hustle of Toronto’s Bloor Street, and then to New York’s Madison Avenue, on weekends she would remember those country-summers with Alfred, by getting knee-deep into a project. Of course, come Monday Jennifer would require a thick layer of red polish to hide whatever paint and sawdust was still stubbornly wedged beneath her nails.
Today, Jennifer’s passion is her full-time purpose, and with every piece, she strives to achieve a natural respect for colour, texture and balance – as Alfred’s eye would have demanded.
The Needles & Yarn Side
Inspired by Beryl
A meticulous soul by the age of four, Jennifer’s displeasure with store-bought products earned her a wardrobe of hand-made treasures; each made with love, and without the itchy tags that terrorized this child. A not-so-secret fact is that Jennifer was still wearing socks knit by her grandmother, Beryl, well into freshman year.
Jennifer hadn’t had the interest to knit until a cold winter day and paralyzing stroke prevented Beryl from going outdoors – the hands that had once made everything, could no longer fit into mittens. That evening, Jennifer’s mother took her to buy her first ball of yarn, and in a parked station wagon with the dome-light on and the heat blasting, taught Jennifer the garter stitch on bamboo needles. She knit a tube. One week later, Jennifer slid her grandmother’s hands into that tube and brought her outside to see the snow. Received as a child, and then given as an adult – this has been the tradition of knitting in Jennifer’s family. Though it involves an excess of both patience and practice, Jennifer attests that it is the time-taken that makes knitting an important and meaningful dedication to pass-on. Sewing and crocheting were a natural progression.