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.
As a medium, I use high-quality repurposed magazine papers, Japanese papers and tissues, or my own painted paper 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 a 1000-piece puzzle, finding this very special piece of paper that would be just a right colour and value. As a chess player, I plan few steps ahead but I often let my emotions run free and take over my creative process.
I have been using collage as my medium of choice since Jan. 2014. It was a “love at first sight” when I tried it, after many years of using other media, including watercolours and acrylics. Now, I use collage pieces the same way the oil 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 a bigger piece of paper.
I always make sure that I paint canvas prior to pasting collage pieces in a colour that is complimentary to the colour scheme I plan to use in my paper collage selection. The background colour picks through the whole painting uniting the composition.
I close my eyes at night thinking of what will the next painting look like and waking up in the morning ready to spend the whole day working on it. I cannot imagine having more fun in my life, than I already have when creating my collage paintings.
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. Before the pandemic she was 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.