Jeremy Herndl

Blackflies and Trilliums, 2021

oil on canvas

60 × 72 in

 72 x


 182.9 x



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About the work

In this lush oil on canvas, richly saturated hues of red and purple provide a striking juxtaposition to the brilliant yellows and neon greens of the moss and foliage. This work titled Blackflies and Trilliums, vibrates with an energy rarely seen in landscape paintings. This is how contemporary artist Jeremy Herndl chose to evoke the buzzing black flies which pollinate the trillium plant’s bright white flowers.

This recent work was painted in Eden Grove in the Gordon River Valley of Vancouver Island, an area that includes about 30 hectares of unprotected and ancient forest that is home to giant Douglas firs and Western red cedar trees. The ecological threat is imminent in this work: 90% of the valley’s ancient forest has already been logged on Vancouver Island, making Eden Grove’s unique ecosystem depicted here exceptionally rare. Herndl’s canvas can be considered part of his series from Eden Grove in 2021 when he was the Artist-in-Residence at the protest camp. An “artist-activist,” Herndl painted en plein air in the rainforest against the backdrop of blockades, police arrests and environmental action to save the ancient forest of Eden Grove.

This landscape painting is not focused on stasis but rather with evoking nature’s continuously changing forms. Central to this is a direct engagement with nature – there are remnants of it embedded on the canvas from rain water stains to insect wings. Herndl’s process includes spending several weeks on a single painting, first scouting locations to produce sketches and then returning with his easel, canvas, and oils to paint throughout the day, stopping only at dusk.

Medium Painting
Signature Signed
Frame Unframed
Condition excellent
Seller Artist
Location Victoria, Canada
Provenance The Artist

Jeremy Herndl


Contemporary artist Jeremy Herndl’s mesmerizing outdoor paintings are known for their richly saturated tones that capture the verdant, ever-shifting nature of light, colour and shadow through an interplay of loose brushwork and brilliant edges steeped in richly saturated light. Herndl’s paintings offer a contemporary reconsideration of what it means to engage with notions of nature, environmentalism, and the legacy of landscape painters’ engagement with national identity. As Herndl says, “my approach is based on the tradition of working from life but with an awareness of the inseparability of life and culture.”

Rooted in the Western tradition of landscape painting, Herndl’s works nonetheless reinvigorate the genre through a contemporary context that address how nature is informed by discourses about decolonization, ecosystems. Informed as much by Abstract Expressionism as by the rich history of landscape paintings in his native Canada, such as the rich legacies of the Group of Seven and Emily Carr, Herndl describes his approach as one of “receptivity and service” between humans and nature. The site-specificity of his paintings highlight the endangered ecosystems of ancient forests, where climate change and the active logging industry have pushed to the brink of extinction.

Born in Surrey, British Columbia, Herndl received his MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2011 and his BFA from NSCAD in 1996. The recipient of many grants and awards, Herndl most recently received the Helen Frankenthaler Fellowship (2019), the BC Arts Council Research and Development Grant (2018) and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundations Grant (2017). Since 2010, he has participated in exhibitions at the Surrey Art Gallery, Open Space Art Society, Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George, BC and GoCart Gallery in Visby, Sweden.

His work is in permanent collections across North America and Europe, including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Surrey Art Museum, The University of Victoria, The City of Victoria, The West Vancouver Museum, The City of Surrey, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Internationally, his work is in corporate and private collections across the USA and Europe, including Brucebo Foundation and Koncepthus in Sweden.


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