Joanna Turlej was born in Warsaw, Poland and raised in a southern part of the country. Her father was an art professor at the local art school. He also was an early influence on Joanna, teaching her the first art lessons. Growing up in this environment of beautiful nature and art culture gave Joanna a great start for her artistic career.
Joanna fled a communist regime of Poland in search of better life at the age of 19 with only a suitcase of summer clothes. She travelled to London, England, from where she immigrated to Canada, a year later.
She graduated from OCAD University in Toronto, ON with an honours degree and George A. Reid Award of Excellence. Since her graduation, she studied under many notable artists, continuously expanding her artistic knowledge and expertise. These art educators include: Skip Lawrence, Christopher Schink, Alvaro Castagnet, Linda Kemp, John Leonard, Peter Kolisnyk, and Brian Atyeo.
During her 25 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 a paper collage technique, as an expression of her art. This very specialized and unique technique, created by her, rendered her a lot of success.
Joanna exhibits nationally and internationally. She is an elected member of OSA (Ontario Society of Artists) and a life member of CFS (Colour and Form Society).
Joanna explains her art inspiration and creative process in this short video.