What is your art form?
I could say that my art form is presenting (and eating) food, but that would be extremely presumptuous!! I love to paint, but also love pastels, drawing and collage
What inspires you?
Big, open skies with clouds and textures; old, shabby architectural elements and country vignettes, African imagery, wonderful art supplies, people who enjoy what I make.
When did you decide to pursue art, or did art pursue you?
I have always drawn since early childhood: I still have drawing books, exercise books, school projects and cards I made for my Mom from age 4. My entire family encouraged me throughout my childhood and youth. It was only when I grew up that the grim reality of life set in, and I realized that art is a poor choice for a comfortable life. My parents were both artists at heart: my mom was an amateur actress and my dad loved literature and poetry. He also had beautiful handwriting; perhaps his engineering skills belied his artistic aspirations? He died before I could ask him about that.
How do you sell your work?
Just starting out in marketing; small one-woman show in the local Whole Foods market, showing in the local artist’s co-op, local restaurants, creating a website, joining an internet art-sales site, creating a blog. Selling one’s own work is definitely a challenge, I guess that is what agents are for...
Do you title your work? If so, how do you decide upon titles?
Very pragmatically, so I can remember the jpg in my pictures folder on the computer! I usually name the subject and the thematic color and if there are many of the same kind, I just number them. At the moment, the titles have no romance or mystery, but that is coming!
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I cannot imagine a life without making or organizing art, but if I was cut off from making art now I may try art marketing, fashion marketing, or go back to classroom work. If I had been stopped from going into the art field as a young person, I probably would have become an English teacher. I love teaching, but as one gets older it’s less appealing. The way kids are raised has changed, our culture has changed and young parents’ outlooks have changed. Standards, attitudes and values are not the way they were, and I have no interest in lowering mine to accommodate others at this stage!
What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
It’s always been art; although being involved over the years with creative movement and dance gave me a lot of inspiration and energy for visual art.
At the art supply store, which section do you go to first?
Kids section; once a teacher, always a teacher! Then the paper, yummy!
What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Love to learn more about creative watercolor techniques, palette knife acrylic painting, collage techniques, and contemporary quilting. Altered books look like fun too, but I get easily impatient with crafts, so that may not be successful. Plan to try to take a workshop or two in the summer in Blowing Rock.
Where do you want your work to be a year from now?
I would love it if I could look at a body of work and see something original, fresh, cohesive, something that reflects elements of who I am and where I have come from. I would like people to see a piece, and say “Oh, that’s Jillian’s work, she has something new”. At the moment I feel that my work is derivative and needs a huge amount of skill. I think I am beginning to see something “real” emerge, but time will tell. People are reacting positively (mostly!) to the color in the work and that is good. I plan to continue playing with color and how it affects the piece.
If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I would choose to bring a sense of peace and a sense of fulfilled purpose to my children and grandchildren. One hopes that raising children, one will succeed in this, but life interferes. In terms of human philanthropy, I know I could not find a cure for cancer, because those skills are light years away from my experience, but if I could, I would work to end unwanted pregnancies and ensure that each child born into the world was wanted and loved.