CV

Click here to read or print full Curriculum Vitae

BIOGRAPHY

I am a mixed-media artist with a studio practice in Cobble Hill, BC. Originally, from Alberta, I owned and operated my own gallery and framing store in Lethbridge. I graduated with honours from the Victoria College of Art [1992] and the Ottawa School of Art [1988]. Over the past four years, I completed a “Directed Study” along with numerous contemporary drawing courses at the Vancouver Island School of Art in Victoria, BC.  In addition to my formal education, I have built a solid base in design, developed a broad and well-respected knowledge of materials, mark-making and creative application techniques.  

My career spans 35 years with specific emphasis on the creation of experimental water-media, drawing and collage. Nature, organic forms, geology and cellular structures inspire my work. I am interested in "bisociation", the idea of connecting unrelated elements, discovering similar patterns between objects and their relationship to each other. I consider myself a process artist: research, gathering, sorting, editing and experimentation support and inform my art practice. This behind the scenes work frees me to perform my painting and drawing intuitively and with spontaneity. 

  Click here for "Bisociation" explanation and click here to read about "Why Connections are the key to Creativity" 

"Treasure Within" 22" x 30" Jill Ehlert © -Watercolour,  Pencil, Pencil Crayon, on paper.  Part of the "Transformations" series.

PROCESS

"Transformations" Artist Statement

”These drawings emerge through a layering process of the natural and manufactured world"

In the Transformations series, I draw from objects that exist in the natural and manufactured world to direct the animated forms of my imagination. I combine dissimilar objects such as pomegranates, plankton, decorative curtain tassels, the inner ear and the mechanical structure of a potato masher.

I break these forms into smaller components through a process of drawing, editing and refining. I amalgamate these unlikely combinations creating an invented language of hybrid shapes and patterns. I primarily work on paper employing drawing and painting techniques that incorporate pencil, graphite, pencil crayon, inks, pen, watercolour, gouache and fluid acrylics.

I animate space by creating an ambiguity between figure and ground; spatial tension through contact and overlap of each tangled cluster. Movement is at times contrasted against a shallow or flat space by obscuring objects through a multi-layering of white washes. In other works, movement is fully animated in a full and empty space. I choreograph the movement of networks of shapes, which are either confined or free to move - be it still, slow, flowing, swinging, staccato-like or explosive.

I employ mark making to populate the space and to create an environment; line and incidental marks enliven these characters of my imagination.

Click here to see "TRANSFORMATIONS" series                         

Click here to see the "TRANSFORMATIONS' series in in the show "Through the Strange"

BACKGROUND

        Me, Dad, Di-Paul, Joey-George & Honey Girl the III

        Me, Dad, Di-Paul, Joey-George & Honey Girl the III

I was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1952. Both my parents painted as a hobby. When I was 6 years old, Dad attended painting classes at night  - his painting studio was outfitted in a small closet adjacent to my bedroom. Dad would come home late after his painting class and tip toe to his small but just big enough workspace. I could see the light seeping through the top and sides of his door and could hear the whish and swish of his brush on the canvas. I remember thinking painting was mysterious, special and important. Dad painted for a few years but photography was his real love. He eventually had his own dark room and studio.

When I was 11, we moved to a larger home where Mom's studio was on the 3rd floor. Mom attended local painting classes at the Alberta College of Art and summer programs at the Banff School of Fine Arts. I remember posing for Mom, painting with her and the wonderful smell of oil paints. I remember her delight over a new line of paints, they were fast drying and could be mixed and cleaned up with water...this was the early 60's and "acrylic paint" was fairly new to the artist's market. 

My earliest art materials were Grumbacher oil pastels. I would draw for hours creating fantastical flower pictures - my favourite colour combinations were pinks, orange and deep yellows. I adored and still remember my grade 5 art teacher Miss Westmancoat with her piled up black beehive and thick black eyeliner. 

In my teenage years a Henry Moore sculpture exhibition had a great impact, today his drawings still influence my own. My first sculptures were fabricated in the lab of my Dad's dental office, made from plaster and wax I melted with his bunsen burner.

In my early 20’s, I owned and operated "Coulee Winds Gallery" an art gallery and framing store in Lethbridge, Alberta. I took photography and Art History at the University of Lethbridge; stained glass and watercolour at the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute. 

In my early 30’s, I began my formal art education. I attended the Universities of Lethbridge, AB and Victoria, BC taking "History in Art". I graduated from the Ottawa School of Art in 1988 and the Victoria College of Art in 1992. I still take classes to this day! I love drawing, photography and painting -- and the sound of my brush on the canvas!

I served on the following boards: Bowman Arts Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta; Gallery 101, Ottawa, Ontario and Open Space Gallery, Victoria BC.

My career spans 30 years of specialization with specific emphasis on the creation of experimental water-media, drawing and collage. In addition to my extensive formal education, I have built a solid base in design and developed a broad and well-respected knowledge of materials and creative application techniques.