Enjoy the work of painter Emily MacLennan! Originally from the Maritimes and a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Emily moved to Toronto in 2006. She worked as a graphic designer in the architectural field before shifting to freelance work upon starting a family. Throughout her life Emily has leaned on drawing and painting as a source of great joy and a means of personal expression. Around 2015 Emily began a more concentrated, daily practice of her painting, working toward establishing a clearer voice and direction for her work. Emily takes her surroundings as her inspiration, exploring her situation from an instinctual point of view that the “everyday” can elicit great emotion and become quite meaningful, even sacred, once carefully and lovingly rendered in paint.

Emily MacLennan contemporary landscape painting
Emily MacLennan, Christmas Day Underpass
Emily MacLennan realism landscape painting red dumpster
Emily MacLennan, Red Dumpster on Afton

Artist Statement:

The predominant subjects of my work are the alleys and storefronts of my neighborhood in downtown Toronto. Alleys are an oddly peaceful place, where unusual colors, textures and shapes meet in unintended ways. The storefronts I choose – some have seen better days – but they all share a quality of self-sufficiency, individualism, and yet also community. In my mind they convey aspects of the personality of the people that own and operate these one-of-a-kind businesses.As I travel on foot, I find and subtly reinterpret a view that appeals to my sense of design, drama, and even humor. My paintings are well-planned; starting with a photo I’ve shot on the fly, I then manipulate the composition to meet an impression formed in my mind, removing shadows and objects that don’t contribute. Finally, I paint it in acrylic or sometimes watercolor, always with a lot of attention paid to chosen details and textures.

Emily MacLennan realism painting JR coin laundry
Emily MacLennan, J. & R. Coin Laundry
Emily MacLennan contemporary fine art realism painting
Emily MacLennan, Salvage on MacDonnell

View more work on the artist's Instagram account.