Jenny McLaren- looking at landscape & nature

I use drawing, painting, photography and collage to explore and connect with my surroundings. Every time I go somewhere new I find a map and go walking. I pay attention to the effects of weather and the local geology, flora and fauna. When I feel I know a place well enough I respond by making the work. Sketches, photographs and notes taken in the field are all referred to when I'm working in the studio, and some paintings are completed on location from direct observation. 

 I am Scottish but have lived in the Lake District since 2015 . Before the covid pandemic I would head north regularly on painting trips, returning to the West Coast and exploring  Scottish Islands whenever possible. The landscape there has a powerful energy that draws me back. Birds have become a major feature of my work over the last year of lockdown, particularly the seabirds I've encountered on ferry crossings and coastal walks. I am looking forward to my next trip, whenever that may be! 

 I use mainly water based media- watercolour, acrylic gouache paints and acrylic inks with other mixed media, working on watercolour paper, wood panel or collaged surfaces. I often paint on old maps of the areas I visit. There's an interplay between the map and the washes of paint obscuring or revealing it that produces an intriguing image. It draws the viewer in to look at details in the wider landscape. 

I have a BA in Fine Art (2006) and exhibit my work nationally. I was artist in residence 2013/14 at the Highland Wildlife Park (Operated by the Zoological Society of Scotland) and artist in residence for the North York Moors National Park (Mirror Images Project) 2014/15.

Check my exhibitions page to see where you can find my work- a selection of original paintings, limited edition prints and cards are available in the shop section on this website. I often share work in progress on my facebook page and instagram - you can find out more about my day to day working methods by following me there. 

Scafell painting, Great Moss