Jennifer Cottis has designed everything from a surface grinder to a parcel sorting machine in her time as an industrial designer.
These days, she doesn’t feel the need to make things that function and isn’t even concerned if they don’t look quite right.
“They are as they grow,” says Jennifer, whose career in industrial design was followed by a spell in teaching.
Jennifer, who lives in Donington, eventually gave that up so that she could pursue the areas that had always been of interest: painting and drawing.
She says: “You are still looking at the form of things, for balance and symmetry and for a pleasing shape to the composition.”
Her work falls into three main categories: landscapes, seascapes and the human form – and this last might be work produced from life classes or it might be based on old Bones, the skeleton kept behind the door in Jennifer’s studio.
Her work is frequently on show in open exhibitions in Lincolnshire as well as London and other cities and Jennifer held a solo exhibition in Skegness last year. An exhibition at the Carre Gallery in Sleaford resulted in her winning an award for her sketch of a Boston fishing scene.
However, more recently her work has moved into other projects that almost hark back to her design origins. Jennifer is working in both 2D and 3D, producing series of drawings on one subject which might be turned into oil paintings and ceramic shapes.
For instance, Jennifer joined a series of sketches of Whitby to create a panorama and then produced paintings from various angles. About a year ago, Jennifer began working in 3D in ceramics and used the Whitby sketches for inspiration to create shapes inspired by two elements associated with the town.
“The steps are the fundamental essence of Whitby, that and its higgledy-piggledy houses that aren’t square or rectangular,” says Jennifer. “The painting has got an almost vertiginous drop; you feel that you are going to fall into the sea.
“I also started working on a series of sea pots and I like to think of them as 3D paintings rather than functional pots. I don’t work in function any more.”
Having said that, Jennifer is analytical when it comes to studying the form and movement of things such as waves, producing dozens of drawings before work is translated to paintings and pots.
See more examples of her work at www.jacottis.com