British born artist Tina moved to Hornby Island in the mid 1980’s. Her first entry in a painting competition at six years old resulted in winning a reward for a watercolour painting. Her first public gallery group invitational show, took place when she was just seven. Harrison credits her primary school teacher who provided those important foundation stones with what was to become a life long passion of arts and crafts. Tina also had a great teacher in senior school who would subsequently help develop her skills in design, mark making and the use of colour in her work. Before arrival on Hornby Island, Harrison took many workshops in painting during this time and continued to work in many art practices.
Within weeks of arriving on the island Tina would go on to designing and manufacturing her own work, supporting herself and her family for many years. Tina also became involved with the Islands Arts Community; she was a board member of the Festival Society for many years. Worked as a makeup artist for HITS theatre group. Harrison was one of the founders of the Hornby Island Arts Council in 1999 where she continues as a board member.
In early 1992 Harrison spent time putting together a portfolio of recent works for submission into a full time art programme and North Island College, Courtenay, BC. As a mature student Tina would be exposed to a full range of art disciplines. Her course load included photography, colour theory, painting, drawing, art history, 3D design and construction. Harrison credits her development as an artist to her teachers at collage. Her drawing classes were though and exacting but a necessary foundation for painting and sculpture, these courses gave her the confidence to grow as an artist and to exhibit her work. Tina would graduate with a diploma in fine arts and then went on to do a third year, self-directed studies in oil painting and had her first solo show that year.
Harrison has participated in many workshops since graduation, in both drawing and painting learning new techniques, and is constantly growing as an artist. Tina loves to travel and paint, among the countries traveled over the last few years are Britain, France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Greece (Crete) all countries which have contributed in some way to her work today.
In the summer of 2001 she attended MISSA Summer School of the Arts, taking a course in painting: Developing the surface with Wendy Welsh. Tina realized that the painted surface could further evolve with the use of distressed papers, collage, impasto medium, think juicy paint. These techniques could now be included in her works. Paramount in Harrison’s work is the surface texture. The building of layers and subsequent palette knife strokes help set the mood of the painting coupled with light playing on the uneven surface all contribute to the overall impression of movement, adding more depth and meaning to her work.