Jennifer Chalklen

Singapore-based, New Zealand born Jennifer Chalklen is a contemporary realist artist who is mostly self-taught. Her works are a journey into whimsy, delicate and beautiful, reflective and poignant.

Jennifer developed a strong interest in realistic portraiture during her five years of living in Jakarta, Indonesia. Despite the chaos and abject poverty, Jennifer observed  a quiet pulse of connectedness through acts of kindness, cultural nuances and the Islamic religious practices, which acted as an antidote to the disorder of the city, and an identity of togetherness within diversity. 

From the Artist

“To me, my work has more questions than answers, the concepts remain unresolved but each work holds clues, even the unsuccessful ones that I carry forward to my next pieces. It’s like an excruciatingly slow never ending jigsaw puzzle, basically. My creative process is elusive, I catch glimpses of imagery in my peripheral & on the edge of dreams, which
I try to screenshot in my brain and amp; capture on the canvas, before they begin to dissolve in waking life. I work with reference images, some images that I find and amp; blend together, or I photograph myself if I can’t find the correct image, then I intuitively work out the composition around it throughout the painting process, often the composition changes several times until I feel happy with it. I work with a lot of thin glazes that produce
a translucent or dreamlike quality. Some works are completed within a few weeks, but I often continue to work on them for months. I like to work intensely for about a week, and then
I allow the work to ‘breathe’ while I consider it & decide whether I need to develop it further or make any bold changes to the composition if I don’t feel balanced by observing it.​”

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