Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Law.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
As a child I always knew I would become an artist. Rather than play with the prerequisite Barbi doll and easy bake oven, I wanted to analyze, sketch and figure things out. In high school I was fortunate to have the most dedicated, giving art teachers as I spent the majority of my school days in the art department, classes notwithstanding. As life would have it things don’t always go as planned and I ended up pursuing a career in the culinary arts. I would tell myself the creative expression used in designing and presenting a menu of beautifully plated food was fulfilling enough. Turns out after nearly 25 years it wasn’t. In the early 1990’s with the encouragement of a colleague I started taking classes at Rhode Island School of Design. After just one foundation class in 2-D design I was hooked.
With renewed enthusiasm, I registered for the RISD Certificate of Interior Design program completing the required classes and graduating in 1997. Not one to shy away from a challenge I spent those four years attending classes and working my fulltime job as an executive chef. It was safe to say a new chapter is self-expression had begun. I worked alongside another interior designer for a few years before going out on my own. There was still a feeling of wanting more, a more personal means of expressing without the governs of a physical environment or the requirement of a house plan. In 2008 I went back to Rhode Island School of design and began taking what turned out to be a series of painting classes. It’s then I realized I was getting closer to becoming the artist I always wanted to be.
After a few more years of painting, I realized I could use the all-important exposure artists crave. I joined the South Coast Artists, Inc. in 2013. Through their guidance, friendship, and professionalism I gained the confidence needed to submit to juried exhibitions. All the while building a following and expanding my audience. With dozens of paintings accepted into local and national juried shows as well as being sold in local and online galleries, I am encouraged to continue on the journey of self-expression in my artwork. My involvement with South Coast Artists has included 3 years as the Tour Chair and most recently I have begun a 3-year term as President of the organization. Humbled and honored, I could not be prouder of this wonderful organization.
Please tell us about your art.
My work is typically non-representational bent toward abstract expressionism. Living on the South Coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island inspiration is just a bike ride or hike away. I am immersed in the sights and sounds, the light and shadows and the seasonal changes that make this region so unique. The opportunity to process and translate with paint and other mediums the influences my surroundings have is a reward all its own. Lee Krasner once said, “I think if one is a painter, all you experience does come out when you’re painting.” I believe this to be especially true with abstract artists.
Given a love of the ocean and rivers that are a daily part of my life, they are often represented in some form as part of my work. The movement, absorption, and reflection of light and changing textures are just a few of the characteristic I try to capture in my work. Working with oils, inks, acrylics, resins and metal leaf I push the mediums to their limits. Homemade tools and common items are employed along with markers, sticks, conventional brushes and knives to create desired textures and expressions. Many of the techniques I use are one of a kind applications unable to be repeated with guaranteed control. As Richard Diebenkorn said, “And I can just see sometimes the technique is blasting powder rather than steady struggle.” There are no mistakes in art, only challenges to create what works for each artist.
As time moves on I think all artist evolve with major and minor changes in their work. Currently, I want to be loose and free with the stroke of the brush, tool or mark maker. My palette seems to remain while the movement and expression are free and spontaneous. Occasionally I will paint a more expressionistic land or seascape or even a contrived fish or two which keeps the process fresh and growing.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Being open-minded is an important way to approach each step in the creation of your work. Often the process of starting a painting, or other artistic expression begins long before the brush hits the canvas. Allow yourself to explore, observe and appreciate artwork other than your own. Engage with other artists at open studios, exhibits and artists talks. Most importantly, never stop taking chances.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Currently my work can be seen at the Art Stable Gallery 865 Main Rd Westport, MA 02790.
I will be participating in the South Coast Artists, Inc. 15th Annual Open Studio Tour July 21-22 and August 18-19. The tour map is available online – http://southcoastartists.org/openstudiotour/tour-brochure/
- Website: www.jlawdesign.com
- Phone: 508-951-8773
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jlawdesign/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/www.jlawdesign/