Cotton Grass Haven

Artist Jennifer Walden

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Yellowknife (Non-Indigenous)
Acrylic on Canvas
10' x 12'

The arctic cotton grass, that grows across the tundra and in the muskeg, looks like something out of a Doctor Seuss book. Big white tufts on dainty little stalks, they don’t look like they should be able to stand without snapping in half. From a distance it is easy to mistake cotton grass from snow patches. As you get closer you realize it is not in fact snow, but a little haven of sorts, a small pond encircled with floating tufts of cotton grass so white it seems to glow.


I could really push the boundaries of the textural elements of the painting when I created the tufts of cotton grass. I wanted the tufts to stand out so much it would feel as though you could walk up and pick a stalk of grass. In order to anchor these three-dimensional tufts into the composition of the piece I used string and thin rope to make the stalks. The string was fluorescent pink. Pink being the complimentary colour of green, it was the perfect under layer to paint on top of, enhancing the three-dimensional effect of the grass.