Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Yesterday I featured artist Paris Gerrard, and today is Part 2 with her mom, Jill Barton.
I was already familiar with Jill's work, having seen it at Silk Roads in Los Angeles, and you may have come across it as well--Jill was just voted "Artist to Watch" in this January's Decor Magazine.
mj: How would you describe your own style?
jill: When it comes to style, I can only say, please, don't fence me in! I find myself drawn to so many different approaches. I love experimenting, exploring, and discovering. I love contemporary, abstract and plein-air, and I want to do more figure painting. Help! So many styles, so little time--what's a girl to do?
New techniques, ideas and methods keeps the process alive for me. By nature, I am a "mad scientist," mixing this with that to watch the alchemy unfold. As a child, my family was lucky I didn't blow up the house. Today, I work (more carefully) with metal leaf and natural solutions to create beautiful, wonderfully unexpected patinas and textures.
mj: How long have you been painting?
jill: My mother was a daily painter, so I grew up watching the process. It was her passion and a natural part of our lives. I have painted off and on all of my life. I have been painting full time and in a professional capacity for the past ten years.
mj: Who are your inspirations and influences?
jill: That is a tough question because there are so many. I must first credit Asian art of various geographical regions and time periods. Many of my "Buddha" paintings are inspired from ancient paintings and sculptures of Enlightened beings. I am completely intrigued with the Japanese aesthetics, from traditional ryokans and kimonos to harajuki street fashion. The view known as wabi-sabi is central to my life. This perspective is concerned with the acceptance of transience and impermanence, and values imperfection and incompleteness, considering these qualities to be beautiful.
mj: What does style mean to you?
jill: Style, for me, is a reflection of who I am. I love the notion "trust your style". With the internet, we have access to a universe of materiality. Past and present, multiple cultures...we can pull from an unimaginable pool of resources. We are all influenced and changed by what we see. It's a glorious feedback loop that allows us to play in the greatest renaissance of all time.
mj: Does fashion influence or inspire your work?
jill: Yes, I think fashion inspires me. As I discussed previously, we are unequivocally interconnected. Once you have seen something, you can't go back. You are forever changed. Art, fashion, life are all catalysts for evolution.
mj: Do you have a favorite piece that you've done? And why?
jill: My favorite pieces are those that flow out. Sometimes they feel almost channeled. Most often, I do a lot of "digging" to get to the gold. I often work hard to make a successful painting, but sometimes, it is just pure grace. Painting is my way of connecting with the infinite. I might say it is my religion, and on a good day, I paint with God.
mj: Are you working on anything new--can you tell me about it?
jill: I am working on a series of "Big Sky" pieces. I am trying to get a group together to make a statement in a gallery or show, but they keep selling. I have started a new "Kuan Yin" for a private client. I also have several commissions for a designer who uses my work in her fabulous homes.
mj: What would your ideal project be?
jill: Great question...hmmm...do I dare to dream about that? Let me get back to you.
To see more of Jill's beautiful work go to www.jillbartonart.com
Thank you so much Paris and Jill for stopping by--I hope you will keep us updated and come by again!