Jonathan Sutton

Jonathan Sutton is a dynamic multidisciplinary artist whose commitment to self-instruction and independence complements a breadth of professional training and collaboration. He started his career as an actor in theatre and film in the early 90s (info at, and soon ventured into writing, directing, and producing. He meanwhile continued the visual arts practice and study he had established as a teenager, incorporating his evolving relationship with narrative and performance into his work. In turn, he further embraced the elements of composition and imagery essential to live performance, video, film, and animation.

Over the last decade, Jonathan has developed a process combining staged photography, Photoshop editing, and realistic oil painting. He works initially with actors – billed in the titles – through collaborative directing, performance, writing, and interpretation, to stage a live event in a specifically chosen location. This process initiates an interplay between spontaneity and craft that will carry from production on-set, through post-production in the studio, all towards an intended tension of elements … careful set design versus happenstance snapshot, coolly controlled execution versus its unsettled – and unsettling – subjects … discipline versus mischief, realistic depiction versus unreal events … a stretch one way into traditional techniques and media, and the other into discovery and invention…

Jonathan’s extensive international travel, study, practice, and teaching continually reinforce his identity with Canada as a home whose affinities – at once local and global – reflect and enhance his own. His work specifically honours Canadian realism while smuggling visual and conceptual influences from throughout world art history.

Born in 1973 in Alberta, Jonathan moved to Vancouver that year. He studied at McGill and UBC, completing a BA in English Literature (1996), and a BFA in Acting (1997). A Canadian and UK citizen, he shares his home in Agassiz, BC with the neighbors’ cats and his own wife, and two children.

An extensive portfolio of Jonathan’s artwork can be seen at