Paintings, Drawings, and Photographs artist
News Artist Statement/Bioback to Gallery

Artist's Statement

"My drawings/photographs search the present moment; my paintings search for moments past."

Images in Hartman's paintings and photography generally explore colour, place, and memory. The intuitive, expressionistic paintings capture a feeling, an imperfect memory or observation. When an image is inspired by a photograph, the aim is to convey what it cannot.

Images invite the viewer to complete the thought or emotion using their own experiences. An early focus on portraiture has evolved into images of often anonymized figures, with the "no face" or "back view" motif to reflect the universal within our individuality.


This website is intended as a small online portfolio containing thematic work in series and solo exhibits, as well as photography.

Home Page photos are chosen for a place, mood or colour and are archived on the Photography pages.


The artist can be contacted directly by email regarding further information about her work or the availability of archival prints of her images.

26 Lennox St. Studio; photo by Sheila Whincup

South entrance wall; photo by Fumiko Maehara

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Born and raised on a small farm outside the historic village of Neustadt, Ontario, the artist spent her teen years in suburban Kitchener before moving to Toronto for art school. Toronto has been her home ever since, from the vibrant counter-culture of Rochdale College, Coach House Press, and communal living, to feminist activism and poverty law. It is here she balanced art with raising a family, a legal career, and shoestring independent/adventure travel.

After a 1989 wilderness trip to the Arctic floe edge restored her artistic muse, she returned to formal fine art study for 3 years and began the series work shown in this portfolio in her studio in Toronto's Mirvish Village.

The Lennox Street studio, which she converted to Hartman Studio Gallery for exhibits, was her base for over 15 years. She co-founded the annual Bathurst Annex Studio Tour, which ran until 2004, and regularly hosted interactive exhibits as part of Toronto's Artsweek Festival until it ended in 2005. The Mirvish buildings at Bathurst and Bloor were demolished in 2018, but the south wall of the Lennox Street building (and her second floor studio) was left standing as part of the redevelopment project.

Hartman's paintings were exhibited in Barcelona in 2003 and in Florence in 2005, and in 2006, in Yorkville as part of Toronto's inaugural nuit blanche.

Hartman held interactive exhibits in her Lennox Street studio/gallery as part of CONTACT, Toronto's annual photography festival. For 2007's Constructed Image theme, bob65 featured her photographs of Bob Dylan taken in 1965 and in 2006 when he was 65, exploring image and identity. For 2010's Pervasive Influence theme, LENS - Looking Everywhere, No Secrets featured candid photographs of people (common and royal) taken on streets around the world. Visitors' assumptions of privacy and anonymity were challenged by perpetual video surveillance and black barred mug shots. The latter became the digital poster Anonymous and Proud (See Other Images). Less than a decade later, privacy and anonymity barely exist and the subject was revisited in 2019 in the What is T.Ruth? exhibit.

Photography inspires her thematic work, as well as the concept of 'self' and 'identity' in the tethered world of technology.

Hartman continues to participate in group and solo shows, in juried, invitational and indie contexts. Her work has been exhibited in North America and Europe with her online portfolio referenced internationally.

The artist is actively involved in Toronto's artistic communities, as a long-time member of the artist-run Gallery 1313 and as a member of CARFAC, which advocates for artists' copyright and resale rights. She also volunteers in the Prints and Drawings Department of The Art Gallery of Ontario, and with the annual Luminato Festival and the first Toronto Biennial of Art.