Jill S. Harmer, an abstract painter from Toronto, Ontario, Canada creates an alluring, captivating presence for any setting. With a background in black and white photography, the use of colour and acrylic paint on large-scale canvas prove no match for this passionate and creative artist.
“The airy, delicate feel of Ms. Harmer's large, painterly abstract pieces is really quite incredible. They communicate a sense of hope, and weightlessness - something like the feeling of lying in a field and looking up at the clouds in summertime.” Review, N. Gaasenbeek, February 9th, 2011.
Jill attended The Ontario College of Art and Design from 1991-1995. In 1995, she graduated from the school's Interdisciplinary Studies program with an Associates degree. While attending OCAD, Jill’s time was spent working in the experimental painting department or in the resident photography lab. During her last year at OCAD, Jill was introduced to watercolour painting. She loved this new form of expression but found it extremely hard to paint realistically within the confines of the class. It was at this time, instructor, Ms. Catherine Beaudette, encouraged Jill’s breakthrough moment as a painter. Ms. Beaudette knew of Jill’s abstract work and finally instructed her not to do what everyone else was doing, but to paint what was in her heart.
Beyond the bravado of her work, Jill hopes that viewers will also be moved by the abstraction and psychological tones of each piece. She encourages her audience to push through personal boundaries; inviting them to shape their own vision of what they see. By doing so, she feels the composition becomes more compelling. As an abstract artist, Jill tends to wear her "heart on her sleeve." She says to know that viewers have also discovered (or rediscovered) a tiny piece of themselves through the artwork- is reward in itself.
Today, you'll find Jill still painting in her studio, nestled in the heart of Toronto's Bloor West Village. She has found success painting commissioned works of art as well as selling her paintings online and displaying them in downtown Toronto gallery spaces. Her first solo show, entitled “Words Without a Song” was shown in March 2010 at The Norman Felix Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
"As an abstract artist, I'm an intuitive painter- inspired by music, nostalgia, self-discovery and human emotion. My primary focus is connecting with and capturing an internal dialogue through colour, composition, texture and light. Breakthroughs happen when the right combination of mood, expression and colour start to unfold on the canvas."