“SeaForms: the Nature of Creation”

These are a few of the photos of the show SeaForms: The Nature of Creation hanging in The Chapel Gallery. Click here to see more.

These are a few of the mixed media collages in the show. Click here to see all the works.


We had a day trip to Vancouver to see the exhibition “Interface” the woven work of Jaad Kuujus at the Bill Reid Gallery We also went to the Vancouver Art Gallery for the exhibit How do you carry the land? - by artists Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin

Vancouver skyline in the early morning, approaching Horse Shoe Bay.

Skyline of Vancouver as we are leaving with the sunset reflected into the sky.

Skyline of Vancouver as we are leaving with the sunset reflected into the sky.

The image above is a panorama, the railing really isn’t contorted. Going home into the sunset.


Upcoming solo show September 21 - October 31

I am pleased to announce that I will be having a solo show of my mixed media collages in Victoria, BC at “The Chapel Gallery”. This brand new dedicated space has been completely transformed into a beautiful gallery. 

The Chapel Gallery:  engaging the community in appreciating creativity

The Chapel Gallery invites the local arts community to exhibit a variety of visual art mediums.  The Gallery particularly seeks works of a socially relevant, contemplative and reflective nature.  The Gallery sees itself as a gallery “like no other”. There are other multifunctional, not-for-profit spaces, but the Gallery envisions ongoing beneficial and educational interaction with the community  -- including those who might never have visited an “art gallery” before.  
The Gallery also envisions a way to share our understanding of the creativity of the Divine with the community – including those who might never think of entering a church. The folk of St. Matthias want to share a safe space for appreciating creativity. 

The Chapel Gallery @ St. Matthias, Fairfield 600 Richmond Avenue, Victoria, BC 



Jill Ehlert - solo show at the Stairwell Gallery - Victoria, BC - July/August

“Observed Transcendence”

Jill Ehlert in the Stairwell Gallery

The Stairwell Gallery is a space devoted to the visual arts in St Philip Anglican Church. The gallery is open for viewing Monday to Friday 9am to noon and by appointment.  

 Click here to see map of location:   2928 Eastdowne Rd., Victoria, BC, V8R 5R8

Curator - Cornelia van Voorst

Jill Ehlert - Nature Studies

Jill Ehlert - Nature Studies


The body of work in the "Stairwell Gallery" and Sanctuary explore stages of the Life Cycle.  "Birth - Growth - Maturity - Decay - Death - Renewal"  - I am fascinated by the series of changes and transformations that an organism undergoes as it returns to the starting state.

The six drawings at the bottom of the stairwell are an exploration into the later stages of maturity and decay. Shrivelled forms of a day lily…the decaying structure of a Hosta leaf…the beautiful form of the poppy capsule -full of seeds ready for renewal. 

The two triptychs in the Sanctuary are part of a series titled "Transformations".  I combined dissimilar objects such as pomegranates, plankton, pears, decorative curtain tassels, the inner ear and the mechanical structure of a potato masher.  These forms were simplified into smaller components through a process of drawing, editing and refining. I intermixed these unlikely combinations, creating an invented language of organic shapes.

The work on the right hand side of the stairwell and the little painted pieces on the bulletin board are invented idiosyncratic shapes inspired from those found within my "Transformations" series - keeping in mind natural forms and stages of birth and growth.  

Studies on the bulletin board show my ongoing interest in the structure and stages of nature.

Jill Ehlert - "Bounty" 11" X 18"

Jill Ehlert - "Bounty" 11" X 18"


Jill Ehlert "Small Wonders 1" 6" x 9"

Jill Ehlert "Small Wonders 1" 6" x 9"


Upcoming show I am participating in: April 25 to May 31, 2016

Update: The show has been extended to May 31, 2016

The Robert Bateman Centre

470 Belleville Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1W9, Canada

Hours:  Daily: 10am - 5pm    Details: http://batemancentre.org/visit/

Website for this special exhibition:  http://endangeredartexhibits.weebly.com/

Participating Artists:

Diana Durrand -  www.dianadurrand.com/

Natasha van Netten  - www.natashavannetten.com/

Jill Ehlert  -  www.jillehlert.com/

Connie Michele Morey  -  www.conniemorey.com/

David Hunwick  -  www.thesculpturestudio.net

Luis-Mario Guerra   -    www.luismarioguerra.weebly.com/

Carol Thompson  -  www.carolethompson.ca/

Trish Shwart  -   www.trishshwart.com/

Caren Willms  -  www.carenwillms.weebly.com/

 "Devils Hole pupfish" (Cyprinodon diabolis) © 2016 Jill Ehlert  13" X 19"

Watercolour, pencil crayon, walnut and acrylic inks on Arches Watercolour paper.

Large signature is only a watermark for internet and does not appear on original artwork.

Artist statement - Jill Ehlert

The endangered Devils Hole pupfish is significant to me given my interest in aquatic environments and water related species. There were only 131 Cyprinodon diabolis recorded in the biannual count conducted in September 2015. My watercolour painting focuses on a limestone shelf that measures 3.0 X 6.3 metres, which the pupfish depend on for spawning and for much of their diet. The pupfish eat primarily microscopic diatoms, a type of algae that clings to large bright green filamentous algae. Other species found on this shelf are tiny invertebrates: amphipods, spring snails, two types of beetles, and flatworms. The Devils Hole pupfish are considered the rarest fish in the world; they measure one-inch long and are so named, as they seem as playful as puppies. In this artwork, I enlarged the pupfish and took artistic license varying the scale of the microscopic world that surrounds them.  


First four pages in my Leporello for the group show “Rebound”

I have been working on the Leporello book for the REBOUND Exhibtion and have the first four pages finished. The requirements for this show has a maximum size of 12" X 12" X 12". My book will measure 11 1/4" tall with a diameter of 12". In image #7 you can see how it will be displayed.


Leporello and Concertina Books

Leporello book I made four years ago. This has been a favourite book structure.

Leporello book I made four years ago. This has been a favourite book structure.

Name derivative:

The term leporello refers to printed material folded into an accordion-pleat style. Also sometimes known as a concertina fold, it is a method of parallel folding with the folds alternating between front and back. The name likely comes from the manservant, Leporello, in Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. Famed rogue and lover Don Giovanni (in Italian – also known as Don Juan in Spanish) has seduced so many women that when Leporello displays a tally of his conquests, it unfolds, accordion-style, into a shockingly long list. Many leporellos are used as a way of telling a story, while others are purely visual.

In the Victorian era, leporellos were quite commonly used as travel souvenirs, depicting beautiful, panoramic scenes of the places travelers had just seen, customs and culture of the region and the like. They are often used in illustrated children’s works, as well. Collectors of books and paper ephemera will love their scarcity and delicate beauty.

Source: Abe Books



“Rebound” - The Book as a Contemporary Art Form

I will be participating in this exhibit.

Gallery 1580 - 1580 Cook Street, Victoria, BC

Opening reception October 3rd – 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. 
Exhibition continues through October 17th.

Experimental new works by 18 west coast artists. Works reference the genres of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and installation.

Exhibiting artists include: Julia Bennett, Jane Coombs, Sarah Cowan, Troi Donnelly, Lorraine Douglas, Jill Ehlert, Luis Mario Guerra Veliz, Kathy Guthrie, Margaret Hantiuk, Barry Herring, Elizabeth Litton, Kyle Labinsky, Connie Michele Morey, Richard Pawley, Regan Rasmussen, Trish Shwart, Diana Weymar and Caren Willms.


Stephanie Jonsson

Fabricated Ecologies - Stephanie Jonsson

A year ago Stephanie Jonsson and I were selected by curator Katie Brennan  of the Lake Country Public Art Gallery to participate in a two-person show. Katie felt there was a "synergy" between our work.  "Through the Strange, new essences, creating the world anew"  has been showing since October 8th. 2014 and ends this Saturday, November 15th. 2014.

Click here to see images, slideshows and videos of our show.

I wanted to introduce you to Stephanie and her sculptures.

Since graduating from the University of Alberta in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in sculpture, Stephanie’s practice has grown to include ceramics and textiles, both mediums that she was not formally trained in. 

Bryce Evans Photography - Stephanie Jonsson at Medalta Potteries, Medicine Hat, Alberta

Bryce Evans Photography - Stephanie Jonsson at Medalta Potteries, Medicine Hat, Alberta

Stephanie Jonsson Biography

Since graduating from the University of Alberta in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in sculpture, Stephanie’s practice has grown to include glazes and fabrics, both mediums that she was not formally trained in. 

In 2007/2008, Stephanie did a yearlong residency at Harcourt House Gallery in Edmonton, AB and was nominated for the Emerging Artist of the Year for the Mayor’s Evening of the Arts Awards in Edmonton. In September 2009, Stephanie completed a two-month residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, AB. During 2009 she received the Award of Achievement from the Alberta Craft Council for outstanding efforts in ceramics, and was listed among Avenue Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” in Edmonton. In 2012 Stephanie completed her Master of Applied Arts degree at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC.

Stephanie has taught art at various organizations in Edmonton, including the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, and Harcourt House Centre. She has taught art to all ages of elementary and secondary school, as well as adult classes and classes for developmentally disabled adults.

Master of Applied Arts Degree, Emily Carr University of Art and design (Sept 2010 - Oct 2012)

In 2013/2014, Stephanie taught all levels of undergraduate ceramics at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, BC.

She is currently doing a year-long residency at Medalta in Medicine Hat, AB.


Photographs by Stephanie Jonsson

Stephanie Jonsson Artist Statement

 Of personal interest to me is the common usage of botanical subjects in abstract and stylized form to decorate the surfaces of Arts and Crafts metalwork, ceramic, textiles, glass, and furniture. In response to John Ruskin's ideas these artists returned to the observation of nature in their work, and the phenomenon of appropriating nature, which started in the 19th century and continues into the present day.  However, over time, architects, designers, and artists have started to look less to nature as a source, and more to a synthetic nature. During the early nineteenth century, designers were not interested in capturing a naturalistic representation of a tendril from a plant, rather they were searching for a form that spoke to a universal plant. Victorian architects used the practice of conventionalization as a stylization of the leaf ornament, so asymmetry in the veins of a leaf would be abandoned in favour of symmetrical cutouts.  This reduction or stylization of the plant form in order to confirm to anthropocentric systems of order is precisely the type of appropriation in which I am interested.

 I find that the stylization of plants in the work of this period has re-emerged in a contemporary context and it is appearing in everything from interior design to website, furniture, and clothing design. Humans have continued to appropriate and manufacture nature.  I am particularly interested in the way that nature has been commodified as consumable imagery, and how the repetition of this imagery has become kitsch. 

For this new body of work, I used mostly extruded ceramic forms to produce multiples to create a sort of facsimile of nature.  Each repeated element is unique and flawed, yet somehow self-similar.  I use abstraction loosely: these sculptures do not accurately depict real world animals or plants, however, they merely make associations with creatures, specifically underwater ones.  The objects stay true to a sort of manufactured ecology: these sculptures are clearly made with techniques that are a product of culture, not nature.   

 In the piece, “Urban Urchins”, I found consumer objects that imitate natural forms and slip cast them to produce multiples, transforming them into a type of kitsch that is twice removed from nature: a facsimile of a facsimile of nature.  In this case, I found a replica of a sea urchin and cast it twenty five times.  Through the process of slip casting, the forms become mutated and distorted from their original form.  This is not unlike the process of evolution in nature, which requires self-replicating entities with tiny errors to sample other configurations.  New genes can be generated from an ancestral gene when a duplicate copy mutates and acquires a new function.  The generation of new genes can also involve small parts of several genes being duplicated, with these fragments then recombining to form new combinations with new functions.

 In “Urban Urchins”, the mutations of slip casting mimic the tiny “copy errors” in the process of evolution, and a whole new organism is created.  The organism that is created in my work is an artificial object that imitates nature and its processes.

I am not attempting to convey a solution to the multitude of problems that our environment faces, but rather to call attention to this curious cultural trend in hopes that a greater awareness will emerge on an individual level. Through reiterating natural forms; deconstructing and reassembling organic order, I am addressing a collective estrangement from our origins.

Be sure to check out  Stephanie Jonsson's website and blog for more information and images of her work. 

Medalta International Artists in Residence Program 

Set against the dramatic cliffs of the South Saskatchewan River in Medicine Hat, Alberta, the 150 acre Historic Clay District was once home to some of Canada’s most important clay factories, including Medalta Potteries, Hycroft China, National Porcelain and Alberta Clay Products. Today, this history is being preserved with the unique Medalta Potteries site providing the setting for a living, working museum, vibrant education centre, a Reception Gallery, and a 12,000 square foot contemporary ceramics studio, The Shaw International Centre for Contemporary Ceramics.

Operating out of the Shaw Centre, the Medalta International Artists in Residence Program is designed to serve artists at all stages of their careers. Students, emerging, and established artists are able to work together in our open, spacious, semi-private studios. The studio experience is one of cooperation and creativity. Artists come from all over the world and bring different experiences, techniques and ideas to our unique studios here in the Historic Clay District. Our studios are full of vibrant energy with resident ceramic artists, community education classes, workshops, and kids’ classes all combining to make this a vital working museum, education centre and studio complex.



"Through the Strange, New Essences, Creating the World Anew".

This is the title of the 2-person show I am in. Curated by Katie Brennan.

Click on these two links to see all the works that were in the show. here and here

In the picture below, I am giving an artist talk on my work. Petrina McNeill, the Lake Country Art Gallery manager is helping me to hold an accordion book with the collection of all the shapes I created in my "Transformations" series. On the table you can see a plate with pomegranates, pears, decorative corn and a a fresh ear of corn, a curtain tassle and a potato masher. These are all the items that I abstracted from to create the hybrid shapes found in all the Transformation series.


Where we stayed

What a great experience we had in Lake Country, B.C. We stayed in an Owner Direct Vacation Rental, which turned out to be the best accommodation for us. Two and half bedrooms that can sleep 7 people. As well the Grapewood Cottage had two bathrooms that had a spa like feel with heated tile floors. It had a very comfortable living room and everything you would want in a full kitchen and a washer and dryer.

The views were spectacular, across from us was Wood Lake and behind us was their 7 acre orchard including these black walnut trees. The next photo shows the view from the top of their orchard.

We had such a fabulous time in the Okanagon, great weather every day with the most beautiful scenery. The people there were so nice. My experience at  Lake Country Art Gallery  was wonderful, Katie Brennan the curator and Petrina McNeil the gallery assistant were welcoming, helpful, and lovely women. 

Katie Brennan, Petrina McNeil and Jill Ehlert, standing in front of my Tryptych “Crossover”.

Katie Brennan, Petrina McNeil and Jill Ehlert, standing in front of my Tryptych “Crossover”.