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Texture and Negative Space: Art by Jill Tompkins

A grey painting with flecks and planes of blueSt. Remy, oil on canvas

Artist Jill Tompkins creates subdued pastel images that often have a focus on texture and negative space. Though her images are mostly figurative, the figure never seems to be the focus – rather, the viewer is drawn to the materiality of the paint, and the abstracted formal elements of each work.

A painting in blue and grey of a headless statueAthena, oil on canvas


It’s fascinating to be able to see the artist’s recent works contrasted against some of her older paintings, in her 2015, and 2014 painting galleries. Many of the works in these galleries are quite bright, and saturated, and sit in striking contrast to Jill’s more recent pieces.

The front page of Jill Tompkins' artist websiteJill's art portfolio website

Some of the works remind me of paintings by Robert Ryman – particularly some of Jill’s recent paintings where the artist’s hand is emphasized in the highly visible texture of each individual brush mark. As we saw in our previous feature of Jill’s work, the artist seeks to explore themes of nostalgia and longing in her works, ideas that are emphasized by the quiet, desaturated appearance of these works.

A painting of several flowers growing from potsFlower Pots, 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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