Jeanette Ardern

Vancouver, Canada

 from cross-stitch to abstract

I was told, you can’t approach a painting this way, it must be this way, but I found if I approached a painting my way rather than their way, it worked for me, and not only that….it approached viewers too….viewers found their way to approach me!

Jeanette – an experimental painter!

My joy is using color and modeling materials and shapes in my work.  I find I dream about shapes and I find interesting shapes in strange places, from cardboard cut-outs, to tools, to the feet of deck chairs, to the mounting brackets you would use to mount a flat screen TV to the wall, to…..oh, forks, hair combs…..

At what age did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I have been designing cross stitch patterns for 24 years.  About 9 years into those 24, I wondered if I could do the same thing with paint and paint brush….so I got a book out of the library, became a decorative artist.  After 10 years as a decorative artist, life got in the way, as it often does….I packed up my half of our stuff and moved west.  I spent a time without painting as I healed, and then one day I picked up the brush again…now I don’t use brushes…I just move paint around…I engage texture, use it, move around it, spread it.  Just over 6 years ago, I joined the FCA.  At the time, I didn’t like Abstract work…till I saw an FCA demonstration ….hooked totally and I haven’t painted anything but abstract in the last 6 years.  I guess I should more correctly be called an experimental painter as I like to try a lot of different ways to apply paint, texture, mixed media.  Until I found abstract works, I was a frustrated realist.  I have great colour sense, but I don’t draw well, so abstract is the perfect medium for me.  I have such fun doing what I do.

What is the earliest artwork you did that you can remember?

My first painting was in  pastel of a family dog when I was 12 years old. I was probably 45 before I got back into art.  When I restarted, I painted flowers & wall mural of a beach scene and a monkey drinking at a hackery.  It was mostly decorative art and around 2008 I focused more on fine art. Since 2010 I have mainly done abstract art.

Which classical or contemporary artists have inspired you?

Some of the  artists from the  federation of  Canadian artists like Peter stillman inspire me. I have not been inspired by any classical artists.

How would you describe your artistic style?

I am an abstract artist and prefer the idea that the viewer will see something in my work that calls out to them on a personal level. I never know exactly what I am going to get when I start and sometimes in the  middle, I change my direction and  keep working till the painting tells me that it is done. I work on canvas with acrylic paints, mixed media for texture such as fabric etc. My style is very unique and does not look like anybody else’s.

When did you first sell an artwork? How did you feel?

I sold my first piece at a Farmer’s market and I was absolutely ecstatic. I had 8 pieces with me and sold 5 of them at that place.

What's your workstyle? Do you work on one piece at a time or work simultaneously on multiple pieces?

My joy is using color and modeling materials and shapes in my work. I dream about shapes and I find interesting shapes in strange places, from cardboard cut-outs and tools, to the feet of deck chairs and the mounting brackets you use to mount a flat screen TV to the wall, to forks, hair combs and the plastic ring at the end of your scotch tape. I’m prolific, have been called aggressive with a paint brush, and am growing with each new piece. I have been asked to “demo” my work a few times over the last 18 months, much to my joy. It just doesn’t get much better than to “fire” up a fellow artist to experiment in something new, taking a different approach to their own work. When asked, “How did you do that?” I will happily bend your ear, as long as you are there to listen.

I work with a lot of texture and work on a piece for about 6-7 days.

How do you get the inspiration for a new piece?

I was part of a co-op at a mall selling artwork and we were selling well until the crash in 2008 after which money became tight. I was selling quite a bit there and at the local farmer’s market.

Tell us a bit about your personal life ...

I am a grandmother of 8 children. I live in British Columbia. I get lost in  my pieces, I don’t hear the telephone, don’t hear my husband asking for dinner and I just paint. It is an escape,a thrill and compulsion. I am impulse driven and have been known for getting up in the middle of the night and starting to paint.

I’m an active status member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and have been exhibiting at art shows around the province.

I’m prolific, have been called aggressive with a paint brush, and am growing with each new piece.  They aren’t all “worthy”, but I hope I’m learning from my mistakes, and with acrylic, you just paint it again.  Even that often adds more joy to the effort.  I’m very happy when asked….”How did you do that?” and will happily bend your ear as long as you are there.


A few pieces from Jeanette’s gallery

Daydream in Turquoise


Why they love Jeanette’s art

Jenn Ruemper

“Jeanette Ardern’s abstract artwork speaks to many. Before coming across her piece “Just Because” I wouldn’t have considered myself an appreciator of abstract art, but her use of texture, colour and shape moved me to purchase this piece. Furthermore, I have since researched Jeanette’s other works and exhibitions where she is featured, one word that comes to mind is “stunning”, which can be heard amongst other visitors when they come across her pieces.”

Jan Seedhouse, weaver

My grown son, daughter, and myself all own examples of Jeanette’s work. Her art is full of color and movement and we love having it in our homes.”

More about Jeanette

Shows & Exhibitions


I have appeared in the Abstract Show,- 2012,2013,2014(Award of Excellence ), 2015, 2016

Works on Paper, 2013, 2015, 2016

Artists’ Choice 2015

TNSC-FCA Open Show 2012,2013,2014,  2015, 2016

TNSC-FCA Chapter Show,2012,2013, 2014, 2015, 2016(award of excellence)

Shuswap Festival of the Arts, 2011,2012,2013 (Jurors Choice all 3 years), 2015

Kamloops Arts Council, 2012(Jurors Choice), 2013,2014,  2015. 2016, 2017

Kamloops Arts Council – Solo Show 2012,

Kamloops Art in the Park, Honours Tent 2013

Kelowna, Oasis, 2015