Jill Harmer, an abstract expressionist and Toronto based painter, attended The Ontario College of Art and Design between 1991-1995. In 1995, she graduated from the school’s Interdisciplinary Studies program.
While attending OCAD, you could find Jill either working in the experimental painting department or developing black and white film in the resident photography lab. During her last year at OCAD, Jill concentrated mainly on watercolour painting. She loved this new, loose 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 Jillâ€™s breakthrough moment as a painter. Ms. Beaudette knew of Jillâ€™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 Jill’s work, she hopes that viewers will also be provoked by the abstraction and psychological tones of each piece. Jill encourages the viewer to enter a personal dialogue with each painting. It is her belief that by inviting the audience to shape their own vision of what they see, the composition becomes more compelling. The reward of her work is knowing that viewers have also stepped through their own boundaries and left a little piece of themselves with the artwork.
Today, you’ll find Jill still painting in her studio, nestled in the heart of Toronto’s Forest Hill. She has found success painting commissioned works of art as well as having her original work printed and sold to large corporate companies as well as smaller, independent boutiques across Canada. Jill is a featured artist at Project Gallery on Queen St. E. and at Arta Gallery in Torontoâ€™s Distillery District. Her work can also be seen at www.jillsharmer.com.