Barker’s on Canvas

Meet Harriet Millar, Christchurch artist. 

After studying art school in England, picking up a post grad in psychology along the way, and becoming a mum of five (in no particular order), she’s thrown herself back into painting.

Harriet MillarWe are glad she did. That’s how we met Harriet!

Harriet exhibited at the St Margaret’s School exhibition. A fundraiser for the school, she was delighted to be one of 80 NZ emerging artists to be invited to exhibit.

From painting her own children, to flowers and animals, she is drawn to pretty things (never mind the pun) – including Barker’s jams!

She has an interesting story about jam too.

“When I was young, I vividly recall jam was forbidden in our house. Later in life when my mum came to stay she didn’t even allow me to have jam on the table! It was very strange and jam began to be of interest to me because it was so mysterious.  Sadly it turned out that my mum and her brother were fed on bread and jam and virtually nothing else for years after the death of their mother. No wonder she disliked jam so much!

Jam has the opposite affect on me, I see it as the sustenance that kept her alive and something beautiful and colourful. No two flavours are the same: little pots of heaven; beautiful jars with labels promising fruit that tastes of the area where it’s grown. I remember the jams from wherever I travel. The Guava Jam in Tobago is still my favourite!”

“I love the packaging and the vibrancy of the colours” she says of her chosen topic, Barker’s fruit preserves. Her style has been described as large illustrator style, finding her niche in acrylics. “The bigger the better’ she laughs, as a painted canvas of 1.5m x 1.2m is not unusual.

Harriet’s own home isn’t overflowing with her own artwork – but not through lack of intent. A modern home, most walls are glass and there just isn’t enough wall space to hang it all!

You can check out Harriet’s Facebook page here