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About the artist

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.” – John Ruskin

My name is Jennifer Foster and I’m a visual artist located in Ottawa, Canada. I am passionate about drawing and painting. I love to draw and paint the things in life that are important to me: people, landscapes, and animals. This website is devoted to my animal paintings—paintings of the wildlife that I encounter when I am hiking and kayaking, and portraits of pets that are valued family members. I find it really rewarding to capture the spirit of animals and I take the same care and interest painting them that I would take when I paint portraits of people.

I work primarily in oil paint, which is a very traditional medium. Artist-quality oil paint is a mixture of pigment that is ground and then mixed with oil. The pigments that I use are mainly natural earth colours or natural minerals, and these are bound in either linseed oil or walnut oil. Both linseed and walnut oil dry to create a hard film that is very durable. There’s a reason why museums have oil paintings that are hundreds of years old! Oil paint has been the choice of artists for centuries because of its wonderful range of possibilities: it can be transparent or opaque, it can hold the shape of a brushstroke or it can be smooth. It can have a delicate softness or be bold, it can be applied so that it is textured or it can have an enamel-like finish. There are many techniques for working in oil paint that allow the artist a great range of expression.

My own work is representational, by which I mean that it is realistic, but not photo-realistic. Why not photo-realism? Style is a personal choice, but my own preference is always to see the hand of the artist in any work. I like to see brush strokes or pencil strokes that tell you about the creative process, that allow you to see the speed or the deliberation of the person who made the stroke—I like the marks that show that someone made this by hand.

Please check out my Gallery of commissioned animal portraits on this site, and take a look at my working process on the Artistic Process page. If you'd like to see my drawings and paintings of people and places, visit my main website at

Thanks for visiting!