Jean Harlow Artist


About me and my work

I enjoy exploring and have been fortunate to visit some of the worlds wildest, remote places.  I depict wildlife and plants specific to these regions.   When I am painting at home, I get a feeling that I am beginning an adventure.  Starting a new painting is like travelling the world with an open ticket to discover somewhere new...  You can go anywhere you like...  or travel back in time through your memories of the environment and imagination.  Having spent a lot of time  living and working in rainforest environments they  appear to have a strong influence on my images.  

I love the intracacy of small details and the concept of minature worlds within worlds; ecosystems within other ecosystems and playing with positive and negative spaces.  These  are embodied by the complexity of rainforest ecology and ethnobotany.   

My work currently has two strands. 

The first is a focus on Expedition Art.  I am compiling bodies of work  depicting specific biomes, islands or regions through which I have travelled.   Currently exhibiting the wildlife of the Brazilian Pantanal, I will soon be creating paintings about Galapagos, Patagonia and the Falkland Islands.  Some recent Brazilian based paintings are shown in the Wildlife Picture Gallery.  I have always loved wildlife, plants and any form of natural history alongside art.   When I was at school studying A level Geography, I decided I wanted to visit all of the worlds ecosystems and continents.  Although I have spent years exploring the American continent, South America mainly and Asia, and have visited Australia and Europe, I have yet to explore the continents of Africa and Antarctica. I have been to the southernmost regions of Chile, but that isn't the same as visiting the great continent itself. As I also love islands I would actually love to go to South Georgia (and Papua New Guinea as well). 

Secondly, I am also interested in fusing ancient philosopical and new scientific ideas with natural representation  through art.   My more recent work into subjects such as sacred geometry and the Butterfly Effect reveals  hidden complexities and interconnections.  I revel in depicting and hiding away the small details for you to discove through the creation of impossible spaces and depictions of parallel worlds. I am currently exploring positive and negative spaces to create elusive realities and illusions.  I call this 'exploring the unscene'.  In this sense I can depict 'metaphysical explorations' through visual metaphors.

 I have studied for Diplomas in Botanical Painting and Wildlife Art.  I have begun exhibiting with the Scottish Society of Botanical Artists.  I also studied BA (Hons) Fine art at Hull University and BSc (Hons) Environmental Studies at Sunderland University .

 

This is a watercolour painting called 'Sarawak'. It grew out of  time spent living and working in Borneo.  This piece merges intuitive and spontaneous mark making with deliberately, highly controlled drawing in ink.  I enjoy combining  these extremes. It was sold at  the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull (Open Exhibition 2012) to a private collector.

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