This year I began a new body of work exploring visual snow disorder a little more and produced several works based on the dancing colours and shapes I see at night. Hopefully it will help raise awareness of the condition. So if you are finding this post by searching for visual snow, hi, I'm Jennifer and I'm an artist and designer based in Brisbane, Australia. I've had visual snow all my life. Some of my earliest childhood memories are watching the kaleidoscopic patterns of colourful dots at night to go to sleep. It’s all I’ve known.
If it wasn’t for a conversation in my early 20s I’d probably never have known how I see isn’t considered ‘normal’. I had a slight headache, someone asked if I was ok and I replied “the dots are a bit intense today”. That led to finding out the entire office didn't see dots! So when I got home I rang my mother and yes she could see the dots. I asked my dad, he didn’t know what we were talking about. I rang my sister and she didn’t know either. I rang my brother - yeah the dots what about them?! So at least I knew I wasn’t going mad which was lucky becasue when I mentioned it to a doctor they advised me not to tell people I was 'seeing things'! It also led to issues at work being a designer at the time. "How can you say that colour is ok if you see dots everywhere?" So I stopped trying to find out more.
When my son came along in 2013 I had renewed interest in finding out what it was. For me lack of sleep makes visual snow symptoms far more intense and nothing like a new baby for sleep deprivation! It tuned out by then people actually knew what it was and it had a name.
Ever since I was a child I had painted what I saw - colourful dots and lots of pattern in my art. Today my work is focused on pattern and visual perception. I paint very decorative abstracts with circles, dots and other patterns. I often refer to this as abstract pointillism. I distort photography by weaving images together and often end up with a lot of kaleidoscopic pieces. Being born with VS I am very used to the symptoms. I think you learnt to look through it a bit more growing up with it. Although some days it can be difficult I like to think of it as a hidden beauty only a few of us can see.
I have started a facebook group for visual snow artists, creatives, designers so if you would like to join in you can find it here: visual snow artists on facebook.
Helsinki Design Week was held recently and there are definitely some trends coming out that I can get behind. Medgina Saint-Elie highlighted a few for House Beautiful...
Design for Joy
Be like Marie and decorate with things that 'spark joy' rather than just following fads. This colourful abstract painting was inspired by the colours of a mango sorbet. After a difficult and stressful summer I wanted to create a series of artworks that, to steal the phrase from Marie Kondo, 'sparked joy'. Little beacons of painted happiness, full of colour and celebrating the good things about summer.
Commit to Colour
Say yes to colour in the home. Bold blue, deep mustard, yellows and peachy orange, whatever you like, the choices are limitless. Pictured above, Ocean Tides print in beautiful bold shades of blue and striking Gantheaume Point print of the Broome coastline with it's amazing red rocks and aqua water.
Embrace the Clash
Mix colours and shapes in fun ways. The recent geometric print collection is a fun and affordable way to brighten up any space. Inspired by playful op art and patchwork patterns, these gorgeous new designs come in a range of sizes, from cute little 10x8in and A4 paper prints, to big 24x36in ready to hang canvas art.
I'm super excited to launch my new geometric print collection (just in time for Mother's Day.) A stack of gorgeous new designs from cute little 10x8in and A4 paper prints to big 24x36in ready to hang canvas art. Fun and affordable prints to brighten up any space inspired by playful op art and patchwork patterns.
There is also free shipping on all prints for Australian, US and European customers!
Thanks to Bluethumb Art, another featured work, this time my photographic weaving 'Family Tree' in their Curve Appeal collection.
"Sculptural curves are popping up more frequently in 2022 interiors. Everything from the design of furniture to vases is embracing a softer side, adding a rounded modern touch to contrast the geometrics of previous years. Take the edges out of your life with our new curation of sculptures, paintings and photographs that take curves to the max in 3 dimensions."
Art of Display
A recent tip from the UKs House Beautiful magazine in failsafe tips for decorating from interior designers, Angus Buchanan suggested: "For the space under the stairs, organising a display is a useful way to utilise it decoratively. One tip for maximising the space you have is to use reclaimed timber to create more shelving space, where art and objects that have meaning to you can be displayed."
So don't forget the spot under the stairs as a great little place for showing off smaller artworks.
Six bold new paintings have been released as part of my continued outback desert aerial landscape body of work.
The Australian outback is a rich tapestry of changing colours and patterns. Tiny dots of vegetation, wild flowers and shrubs, come and go or alter in shade with the seasons.
You can view the all current desert landscape work here
With the Olympics starting in Japan it seems somehow fitting that my new additions to the Variegated collection ended up working so beautifully with Japandi decor style currently becoming very popular around the globe.
Several paintings have been released as part of my Variegated collection looking at organic patterns found at the microscopic level in leaves. Using a soft white wax over board allows for the beautiful natural wood grain to show through. Finished on top with white detail and a scattering of cut paper in a mix of metallics and neutral tones.
The calm, muted colours, focus on natural materials and organic shapes creates a Japandi style aesthetic. Japandi being a hybrid of Japanese and Scandinavian design, zen meets hygge if you like. At the heart of these works is the idea of embracing simplicity and celebrating the beauty of imperfections in nature, a core belief of wabi-sabi.
You can view the whole set of new works currently under 'latest collection'
Bit of fun to end the week on. Sometimes I know exactly what I'm going to call a painting before I even begin, and other times I can't for the life of my think of a good name for my artwork. So if you're an artist and you get stuck on what to call your next piece - try this out! LOL
I've found over the years as an artist that some of my most successful work, or the pieces I feel have turned out best, happened when I worked with a limited or restricted colour palette. Over time I've been narrowing down the colours I like to work with and this is my latest update.
One of the best ways to develop a colour palette for paintings I find is to mood board. You can do this the analogue way, cutting out pictures from magazines and stick them in your journal, but I prefer to gather images together then photoshop them. Creating a Pinterest board is another great way to collect images that inspire you.
It was important for me going forward to make sure my colour palette reflects the Australian landscape. Keeping the bold blues, turquoise and red I often work with but combining them with the more muted tones of gum trees and deep ocean.
This month I'll be taking part in the Brisbane Art and Design Festival with the Landing group show at The Side Gallery, Red Hill. You can see two of my woven pieces on show 'Moreton Bay Morning' and 'The Mock Orange Trees'
Landing is a group show that explores themes inspired by or relating to Brisbane/Meanjin, its people, land, objects, the environments and multitude of businesses of the greater Brisbane city.
The Landing group show consists of small works, no larger than 30 x 30 cm including painting, sculpture, prints and textiles!
Side Gallery, 7 Emma Street, Red Hill
Jennifer is a contemporary Australian artist based in Brisbane, Queensland. Know for her highly decorative paintings and unique paper weavings, she explores pattern and visual perception, often highlighting the beauty in the ordinary.