- Posted January 2, 2013 by
Los Angeles, California
Jill Lear: Art as Experience
Proportion, beauty, story, and history: these properties are what drove and inspired Jill Lear to choose the tree as her subject. The consistency found in Lear’s abstract water colors, paintings, and sketches is accredited to the grounded, tranquil, yet animated elements in her work. She is devoted to traveling around the world in order to find her subjects. Lear desires the tree to speak for itself and to the audience as they experience the captured place and space. Jill’s strong loyalty and focus make her a rarity among artists today.
Jill began her artistry after majoring in French and Medieval literature. She studied fashion in France before changing direction completely in search of a more fitting environment. Jill reveals, “I love the solitude of the studio.” Lear enrolled in an intensive studio art program in New York where students paint all hours of the day from life. The focus was to go against the modern art movement while returning to a more traditional and realistic approach. The training gave Jill a conviction for precision in studying her subject with a strong artist work ethic.
After school Lear went to Orcas Island where she fell in love with capturing trees. Jill connected to their proportion and beauty. She confesses, “I love the idea that they are these witnesses of history. They are grounded and wonderful survivors of human beings.” Jill uses mixed media consisting of charcoal and tempera paint on japanese paper and canvas for her larger paintings. For the “Territories” she distills the subject further down into watercolor with 10 or fewer marks on the page.
Lear plans trips specifically to find trees to capture. “I do a lot of driving,” she states, “It is so crazy, the places I find the trees.” Like many artists, Jill has found a way to incorporate current technology and media into her work while holding firm to traditional artistic values. Lear takes an extensive amount of photos for the tree, getting every angle possible in order to fully study it. There is an importance in capturing that precise place in time in which she is taken by the tree. Jill references Yi-fu and Hoelscher ‘s book, "Space and Place" to articulate her appreciation and fascination with the two elements. She explains, “Space is that moment in time. The space idea of the world.” To Jill, place and space are important as well as sacred. Using the latitude and longitude of each tree as the title, her goal is to truly depict that particular moment and place in time.
Jill Lear’s upcoming show is in Austin Texas January the 17th at the Shoal Creek Gallery. She will be presenting a number of her tree paintings along with some of her photographs. Lear is excited for her audience to get the full experience and she feels her photos will contribute to that idea. Jill doesn’t see her subject matter changing anytime soon. Her love in studying and depicting what she calls, “Survivors through the ages,” is visible in her recreations and apparent in her enthusiastic accountability. Her emphasis on experience ties her to great artists in history, an unusual occurrence in the art-world today.
For more information on Jill Lear and her work visit www.jilllear.com