Jolene is a visual artist who works with paintbrushes (not dotting tools) and acrylic paint in the style of dotillism.
Each subject of the piece is honoured – a moment, a place, an animal – by creating an extremely intricate, detailed background from thousands of dots which contrasts and therefore highlights the stark silhouette of the subject itself. I am a Registered Veterinary Technologist and have been working in the field of veterinary medicine for over 25 years – this has given me ample opportunity to witness and be inspired by the incredible bond between animals and people. I am also a backpacker and seek out the remote places of our amazing West Coast for both inspiration and spiritual rejuvenation.
When I started dotillism with Mandala stones, I was hooked. I had been painting them for about 4 years when I started to experiment on canvas. As time goes on, the dots become tinier and tinier and the backgrounds more intricate. At the beginning, my subjects were naturally animals and then on my annual trip to the Roy Henry Vickers Gallery in Tofino, I was inspired to incorporate the wild West Coast coastlines and forests. This was my “aha” moment and it released an endless stream of inspiration for my painting. I love the beautiful, detailed work of First Nations artists and how they connect with nature through their art; artists such as Clarence Wells and Bill Reid, along with the amazing Roy Henry Vickers. There are so many amazing artists here on Vancouver Island, and I am constantly inspired by these gifted individuals.
It still surprises me at how incredibly meditative and calming the practice of dotillism is. The work is so fine and detailed it requires breath control and a very steady hand, so I find myself entering this space where I'm very present and focused on the scene, which allows me to let go of everything else on my mind.