I cherish a beauty of nature and feel strongly connected with it. I care about the environmental problems we are facing today. Through my art, I like to highlight the importance of preserving the endlessly beautiful Canadian landscape.
I feel strongly compelled to do my share to save the environment and as an artist I use only safe art materials.
I use high-quality repurposed magazine papers, Japanese papers and tissues, and my own painted papers to assemble my vision in collage using a mosaic approach on canvas. I find this process challenging, exciting and environmentally friendly.
I relate my collage work to assembling 1000-piece puzzle. Finding this very special piece of paper that would be just a right colour and correct value gives me a challenge. As a chess player, I plan few steps ahead but I let my emotions run free. Emotions soon take over any rationality in my creative process.
I have been using collage as my medium of choice since Jan. 2014. When I tried it for the first time, I felt like I found my calling. It was definitely “love at first sight”. I spent many years, previous to this moment, using other media, including watercolours and acrylics.
Now, I use collage pieces the same way the oil, or acrylic painter uses dabs of paint in variety of shapes and sizes. Instead of changing a size of brush to make a wider or longer stroke, I rip or cut pieces of paper.
Joanna Turlej was born in Warsaw, Poland and raised in a southern part of the country in an environment of beautiful nature. To this day she is most inspired by landscapes. Joanna fled a communist regime of Poland in search of better life at the age of nineteen. She travelled to London, England, from where she immigrated to Canada a year later. In pursuit of art education, she studied at OCA (Ontario Collage of Art), presently OCAD University, in Toronto, ON and graduated with honours degree and an award of excellence. Since her graduation, she studied under many notable artists, continuously expanding her artistic knowledge and expertise.
During her 35 years career as an artist, she has explored different media, among them watercolours, acrylics, and mixed media. In 2014, her explorations led her to embrace paper collage. Her very specialized and unique technique, rendered her a lot of success.
Joanna exhibits nationally and internationally. She is an elected live member and a president of CFS (Colour and Form Society).
In 2020, Joanna’s work has been accepted to Government of Ontario Art Collection.
Joanna Is an art teacher and a presenter. She has taught in art organizations such as Oakville art Society, Oakville Galleries and Oakville Art Studio Inc. In 2022, she is scheduled to teach in Haliburton School of Art, Fleming Collage. Currently she is teaching via Zoom. She was also invited to do a presentation via Zoom for Don Valley Art Club and Clarkson Art Society.