Brenda Watson was born and raised in a village in northern British Columbia, Canada. The spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and the isolation of this place have all contributed to her particular interest and artistic preoccupations. After finishing a degree in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, she spent two years in New York haunting museums and art galleries while pursuing her love of painting. Her artwork at this time was concerned with feminist themes, such as the depiction of women in the arts and in popular culture. She also created a self-portrait series inspired by the works of Frida Kahlo. Watson left New York to spend two years in Dallas, Texas. While there, a painting seminar with Melissa Miller re-awakened her interest in themes of the natural world in addition to continuing to create auto-biographical works. It was here that birds first became an important visual metaphor for her.
Leaving Texas, Watson returned to Canada; although to live in an unfamiliar province and in a new language. With this return she was moved to bring the landscapes, animals and people of her childhood into her art. Living in cities for so long lead to questioning whether an urban dweller could truly remain connected to the natural world in more than a superficial or romantic fashion. She has dealt with this question in various art forms: painting, large format drawings, three-dimensional pieces (winged big cages) and book arts.
Watson’s works are represented in private and national collections in the United States and Canada. She has participated in traditional gallery shows and in internet exhibitions including World’s Women on Line!
This was a video/internet exhibition presented at the fourth United Nations Worldwide Conference on the Status of Women in Beijing China. Her artwork was presented at the Feria International de Libro in Guadalajara, Mexico representing Le Bibliothèque Nationale du Quebec. At this international book fair, Watson’s two careers, of visual artist and book illustrator were both on view. Now living and working in Montreal, Quebec, the artist divides her time between book illustration, fine arts production and raising three beautiful children.
Biography courtesy of Brenda Watson