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Nostalgia and Longing: Art by Jill Tompkins

An abstract painting composed of pink shadesWhite Shutters, oil on canvas

Jill Tompkins uses drawing, painting and printmaking techniques to express themes of nostalgia and longing. Her artworks range from pure abstraction to portraiture, sometimes combining the two disciplines to create strange, symbolic images.


A pale pink painting of some fruit on a tableAn Apple, a Pear and a slice of Lemon, oil on canvas

It’s interesting to see the variation in styles throughout Jill’s portfolio. While sometimes the artist strives toward realism, other works look specifically at the materiality and color of the paint. I like Jill’s abstract works – the paintings tend to involve cascades of light, pastel-like colours, occasionally interrupted by pools of dark grey or deep blue.


A screen capture of Jill Thompkins' websiteThe front page of Jill's website


These pale colors carry through into Jill’s still-life works – in one piece, for example, a row of apples is depicted with an almost grey, pale pink hue, a departure from the bright red or green that one might expect. The faded aesthetic reinforces the idea of nostalgia in Jill’s works, creating the look and feel of very old, sun-baked photographs. 


A painting with pink tones and marks of deep blueAx en Provence, oil on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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