I was born in England and I arrived in Bermuda in 1954 where I attended the Bermuda High School. There, I won a scholarship to study teaching. After an Interesting teaching career in Bermuda, Spain and arctic Canada, I settled down to pursue a serious interest in art. Entirely self-taught, I became a professional enamellist, representing Bermuda in the prestigious Caribbean Arts Festival in Jamaica. In 1983, I decided to try my hand at watercolour painting. I have enjoyed owning an art gallery in St. George’s for 34 years and have given location art lessons to visitors to our island. I have painted in many different countries, including India, Kenya, China, Zambia, Chile, Malta, Spain, the Canary Islands, Australia and Hawaii.
“I feel a wild sense of freedom when I paint on location. I can feel the air; warm, cold, changeable. I notice the smells and the subtle sounds of nature. Even the inevitable interruptions and distractions help to make my painting an all-encompassing experience! I paint as my senses are bombarded by natural harmonies and discords. I react to the jagged lines of our verdant vegetation and at the same time to the smooth curving lines of our ever-present ocean. I absorb all the brilliant colours – colours that challenge me, even defy me to mimic their liveliness on my formidable piece of white paper”.
I have been honoured on various occasions when my work was presented to royalty, including Queen Elizabeth 2nd, Princess Anne and Princess Margaret and also Margaret Thatcher. I was named artist of the year by Bermuda’s professional Women’s Society in 1985. A painting of mine was chosen to represent Bermuda in Carib Art – a travelling exhibition of the best of Caribbean art in 1992. As a Bermuda Biennial artist, I have exhibited 4 times in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2008. Recently, I was asked to be the Grand Marshall for the Bermuda Day Parade and was a participant in Bermuda’s “World Intellectual Property Day” celebrations. I was selected as the Artist in Residence in Breckenridge, Colorado in 2011 and I am currently a member of each of the art associations on the island.
Photos of Jill’s current work can be sent at request.
Examples not in Gallery: