Jill Corless 1/2019
Ever since I was child I have always loved to draw. While doing my homework more time was spent drawing flowers around the holes in the three-ring paper than should have been. My teachers were treated to drawings of dragons and princesses filling up any spare space left on the page, sadly some teachers were more tolerant than others! I went to The Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Canada and majored in Communication & Design, not Fine Art. A girl has to make a living, right? When I was 22, I started as a graphic designer moving quickly on to Art Director and stopped painting for the sheer joy of it. When my husband and I moved from Canada to the United States 25 years ago, I stopped working and raised two wonderful children – and did not paint.
In late September of 2017, my friend and I walked into a charming gallery in Charleston called “Lowcountry Artists Gallery” and I fell in love, it felt like home. While speaking to one of the gallery owners, Lynne Hardwick about the art and the history of the gallery, I ended up telling her my story. She looked me dead in the eyes and simply said “you’re back!”. I said, “excuse me?”. She said, “your face has totally lit up, you need to go back and paint, just do it, you’re back!”. So, after 34 years I finally picked up my brush! Those two words became my mantra and echoed in my head, the floodgates opened and the creativity flowed. She was right, I was finally back!
Last April I paid a surprise visit to the gallery with my portfolio in hand to show my Guardian Angel, Lynne, what she had unleashed with those two little words. All the creative joy I thought I had lost was now back into my life. I’ve now come full circle and been juried into the gallery, my arts new home. I could not be happier or more excited to be surrounded by so many talented artists and share in their knowledge and comradely. I paint commissioned portraits of both people, animals and sometimes paint just because “I” want to! I consider myself self-taught in both pastel and colored pencil and am now delving into oils. Drawing people and animals is my passion – it’s the eyes. I am fascinated about just how much you can learn about a person or animal by looking into their eyes. The eyes are truly the window of the soul, they do not lie. I always start with the eyes because if I don’t get them right the entire soul of the painting is lost, and I paint to find the soul.