Born in England, descended from a family of artists and self-taught, Jill Douglas spent four years in France before moving in the early nineteen eighties to Southern California. She has now returned to France and lives in Provence.
Her early works were allegorical still-lives painted in a photo-realist manner. These paintings mostly focused on a single object against a background of near empty space.
The Encaustic Paintings made with pigment suspended in beeswax, were an experiment. The first series were SCAPES, a subject free and open enough to 'explore the medium and absorb all the accidents'. The second series Things, manipulated the medium in a different less abstract way depicting single objects.
An avid object collector, Douglas continues to explore the still-life form as well as landscapes which are mostly remembered or imagined.
The Spaces series are a further exploration of light and space, employing a palette of varying whites, thus reducing the imagery to the simplest possible visual statement.
The Pods paintings explore colour in a new way. Monochromatic seedpods float on vibrant, saturated colour fields, representing their imminent bloom.
The more recent Birds series are more psychological in nature depicting the subject on empty grounds suggesting both their strength and vulnerability.
The Open series are paintings made on wood panels set in old frames. These frames have been repurposed to fuse with and contribute to the subjects rather than contain them. The thick unevenly gessoed grounds play against the formality of the frames. The images in turn, deny these confines by extending beyong their borders. The subjects, despite their physical depth, seem to advance, creating movement between object and space, while the the frames appear to recede. Included are a range of subjects, depicted in varying styles. This series renounces beginnings, endings, edge, boundaries, and rules.
Influences include the familiar English and French countryside. Trees, objects and light filled interiors, give awareness to the all-important surrounding space.
Spatial relationships, edges, surface texture and an awareness of light and colour, all contribute to a luminous distillation of subject, reducing it to its silent essence.
Arles, France 2019