Jennifer Olson is a representational watercolour artist from Victoria, BC. Her remarkable work combines raw and refined elements to celebrate seemingly ordinary subjects – the worn textures of a weathered building, the shadows of a winter landscape, the golden glow of pears soaked in soft light.

Unique in their strong contrast, quality of light and brilliant luminosity, Jennifer’s original paintings and commissions are held in private and corporate collections across Canada and around the world.

Recognized nationally as a three-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Grant for representational artwork, Jennifer received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Jennifer regularly exhibits at juried exhibitions across Vancouver Island and the lower mainland, and is recognized as a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.

Along with her artistic achievements, Jennifer is an accomplished custom picture framer and fine art instructor. She delights in sharing techniques and time with her students, balancing the solitude of painting with the community of teaching.

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Personal Bio

I’m Jennifer – a watercolour artist, mother, teacher, and general creator. Like most artists, my passion for creating started at a young age. My childhood was immersed in craft projects, painting, sewing, and nature. I was raised with a strong work ethic and a love for the artistic process. I am inspired by the human ability to create and have always valued hands-on skills and the tradition of honing a craft.

While my career in painting began in acrylics and oils, I have worked exclusively in the watercolour medium for many years. The luminosity, spontaneity, and movement of pigment through water never ceases to amaze and inspire me. As my work evolves, this organic process continues to be an increasingly integral part of my paintings.

While I value uninterrupted time in the studio, I also love sharing my passion and knowledge in watercolour with all levels of students. Creating a community of artists through my classes has been an important balance to the solitary nature of studio time. I feel that artists of all levels grow and challenge themselves by sharing the creative process within a community.

I am privileged to live in Victoria, BC, on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen peoples. My proximity to the many stunning forests and beaches of Vancouver Island is an inspiration and reprieve from the fast pace of modern life. I am keenly aware of serious environmental issues affecting us globally. I find nature’s ability to adapt, regrow, and reclaim man-made damage a source of hope for our future. Concepts of restoration, natural decay, regrowth and rejuvenation enter into my paintings on an ever-evolving basis.

When not in the studio, I can be found enjoying family time with my husband and young children, gardening, doing home improvement projects, or out keeping active in nature. I am privileged to live life as an artist, experiencing the world through the lens of a creative mind, appreciating beauty in the simple things, and sharing my unique vision with the world.



  • Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, AB (2001-2004)
    Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with honours – painting major
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, BC (2000-2001)
    Faculty of Fine Arts – first year visual arts major



  • Women in Watercolour Competition, international online exhibition (juried)
  • Sooke Fine Arts Show, online exhibition (juried)
  • Somewhere in Time, Federation of Canadian Artists, Victoria Chapter (juried)


  • 80th Annual International Open Exhibition, Northwest Watercolour Society (juried)
  • Open Water, 90th Annual International Exhibition, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour (juried)
  • Sooke Fine Arts Show, online exhibition (juried)
  • Retro Exhibition, Federation of Canadian Artists (juried)


  • Sidney Fine Art Show, Sidney, BC (juried)
  • Federation of Canadian Artist’s – Spring Exhibition, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC (juried)
  • Art Gallery Paint-In, Victoria, BC (juried)


  • AFCA Signature Medal Exhibition, Federation Gallery, Vancouver, BC (juried)
  • Sidney Fine Art Show, Sidney, BC (juried)
  • Art Gallery Paint-In, Victoria, BC (juried)


  • Sidney Fine Art Show, Sidney, BC (juried)
  • Art Gallery Paint-In, Victoria, BC (juried)

Awards, Grants & Scholarships


  • Women in Watercolour, 2nd Annual International Juried Competition, Ampersand Merchandise Award, Landscape/Water Category
  • Women in Watercolour, 2nd Annual International Juried Competition, Raymar Merchandise Award, Abstract Category
  • Federation of Canadian Artists – Victoria Chapter, Somewhere in Time, 2nd Place Award


  • Sidney Fine Arts Show – Juror’s Choice Award
  • Federation of Canadian Artists – Victoria Chapter, Spring Exhibition, Honorable Mention


  • Sidney Fine Arts Show – Juror’s Choice Award
  • Sidney Fine Arts Show – Honorable Mention 


  • Sidney Fine Arts Show – People’s Choice Award
  • Federation of Canadian Artists – Victoria Chapter, Spring Exhibition, Honorable Mention


  • Federation of Canadian Artists – Victoria Chapter, Spring Exhibition, Award of Excellence
  • Look Victoria, Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria – People’s Choice Award

Memberships & Associations

  • Federation of Canadian Artists, Signature Status (AFCA)
  • Northwesst Watercolour Society
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria



As an artist, I notice subtle qualities in my surroundings – reflected shadows on a water glass, nuances of colour and texture on a rock’s surface, rhythms of afternoon sunlight poring over a dish of fresh fruit. Details easily overlooked by others.

Working from photographic references and carefully arranged still lifes; I transform my observations into tangible artifacts. Painting is a process that lets me bring to life ideas, visions and perspectives I want to share with others. I’m constantly imagining paintings not yet painted.

As a medium of expression, watercolour suits my personality. I love balancing the excitement of spontaneous movement and unexpected effects with the authenticity of meticulous detail and carefully rendered forms.

Intrigued by torn edges and textured surfaces, many of my paintings represent transformation – the passage of time. Seedpods, weathered pots and the crumbling façade of an old building fascinate me. The subjects appear static, but they’re always in transition – poised somewhere between stability and fragility, deconstruction and permanence, structure and transience.


Transparent Watercolour

All of my watercolours use traditional techniques for transparent watercolours.

Transparency is the quality of watercolours that allows light to pass through glazes of paint to reflect off the paper’s surface. Transparency as a classification indicates that no white or opaque gouache paints were used. In a transparent watercolour, the white of the paper is carefully preserved by the artist wherever white areas are required.

Archival Acrylic Varnish

In some of my recent works, I have eliminated the need to cover my watercolours with glass, by finishing them with an archival acrylic varnish.

Archival acrylic varnish protects a watercolour painting from UV rays, moisture and dirt. The varnish is spray applied in multiple layers to achieve a well protected, natural finish. It permanently bonds with the watercolour pigment and paper resulting in an acrylic impregnated image. Varnished watercolour paintings are often referred to as “mixed media”, but they retain the visual quality of a watercolour. Varnishing creates a contemporary presentation where the painting can be experienced directly, without glass.


Jennifer’s paintings are currently exhibiting at:

Women in Watercolour
Online International Juried Competition

Adrienne’s Tea Garden
Mattick’s Farm, 5325 Cordova Bay Rd, Victoria
9am – 4pm daily (250) 658-1535

Upcoming Exhibitions:

Oak Bay Studio Tour
Fall 2021 (pending Covid-19)

Additional Information Coming Soon…
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Jennifer’s Art Cards can be purchased at:

Paper Chain
Mattick’s Farm
5325 Cordova Bay Rd. Victoria, BC
(250) 658-2725

Villa Marco Pollo Inn
1524 Shasta Place, Victoria, BC