Laila Jensen

Gusting Winds

I’m inspired by the outrageous yet casual beauty that is all around us all the time. Nature is very extravagant. Texture, form and especially line are elements I love to convey and distort. And exploring the secret life of trees is the perfect muse for me.
Mixed media is my artistic home. I usually create in layers, starting with washes, plasters, pastes and all kinds of paper – origami, textured fibre, tissue, etc. I have a huge collection of papers and rarely leave an art store without a new one. I also use metallic leaf, ink, ink pencils, pastes, gels, chalk pastels and charcoal. Each painting has its own story and back story. And through the layers emerge mystical and charming little surprises. I hope to entertain my viewers and collectors as much as I was entertained by the creation of the piece.

Born and raised in Alberta, Laila has always been a passionate creator and art lover. Prior to devoting herself to painting full time, she was a management consultant for many years. She has a BA in Linguistics and a MBA.  After leaving her practice, she began immersing herself in all things art. Laila moved to Invermere, British Columbia, in 2009 and soon established herself in the local art scene. She has lived on Vancouver Island since 2020 and has settled in the beautiful little seaside town of Crofton.

For Laila, trees have always been a tremendous source of inspiration. She captures the essence of the beautiful barks and delicate leaves of Alberta aspens, the spruce and fir forests of British Columbia and the majestic trees of Vancouver Island in her work. “Some trees have a trembling, whispery sound in the wind. Here on the West Coast, it’s more of a swish.” – she observes. Living by the sea is resulting in the new fascination with the resilience and dramatic presence of trees that seemingly grow out of sheer rock. 

While elements of nature are always present, Laila’s work has become increasingly abstract and conceptual, with a noticeable attention to line, shape and edges. As a mixed media artist, she creates rich layers of texture using plaster, pastes and papers from her broad and varied collection, ranging from textured fibre, tissue, handmade and origami papers. She also uses inks and ink pencils, chalk pastels, charcoal, gels and metallic leaf.

Enthused by the very properties of her chosen medium and the scope for creative expression, Laila draws on the technical skills and understanding of her materials acquired through numerous drawing, painting and silk-screening courses at Alberta University of the Arts, University of Calgary and Emily Carr University. 

Many workshops with top North American artists such as Joan Fullerton, Mike Svob, Ardith Goodwin, Blu Smith, and Brian Atyeo further expanded her artistic horizons.

Laila achieved her Signature Status with the Federation of Canadian Artists in 2021.