Q: How did you get started doing your type of art? What led you to it?
I basically stumbled into watercolor. I’m a chronic migraine sufferer and many years ago while at a headache clinic, the clinician tasked me to find a passion or hobby in addition to raising my young son. I had painted earlier in my life – learning oil painting from my mother and then taking a few fine art classes in college, but had never tried watercolor. I decided to take a class. After learning the basics I eventually set out on my own, continuing to learn through independent study….and trial and error.
Q: You seem to challenge yourself a lot, what is your favorite and why?
I love painting landscapes. I have to paint something that stirs me, and nothing does that quite like the beautiful world around us. I’m always amazed at the effects of light, the fact that colors are never “off” in nature, and the wonderful value emphasis created by fog and mist. God is to me the most incredible artist of all – “the rest of us just copy,” as Michelangelo so aptly said.
It’s important to me that my work has a uniqueness to it. I can’t stand the idea of reinventing the wheel in anything I do, so I strive to solve my own problems when I paint and look for new ways to approach subjects when possible.
My most recents paintings have sought to capture the expansive feeling of a broad landscape or the muted tones and strong values of a foggy scene. I paint in both watercolor and oil because some scenes can only be captured in one or the other. In my watercolors I do a lot of planning, and love the challenge of combining loose and detail techniques. Oils, on the other hand, are my artistic freedom. I hardly plan them, preferring to just dig right in and enjoy the texture and opaque impasto capabilities.
I also love to be challenged. I get bored very easily, so I’m always looking for ways to push my brain. Recently, I broke the elbow of my primary arm and the challenge became whether I can paint a watercolor using my left arm? I did! There’s something about stepping up and meeting a challenge that keeps me going in so many areas of my life.
Q: You also teach? Which is your favorite age group and class?
I do teach, although because of various health issues, I’ve settled into creating online painting classes so I can work around how I feel. Creating learning videos is yet another challenge I enjoy. I have a YouTube Channel (Jill Poyerd Fine Art) where I’ve been building a series of art appreciation videos. The intention? To make the presentation as beautiful and interesting as the art itself, and to reinvigorate the public’s interest in art. I hope in my little way, it can make a difference. To date, I’ve had 130,000 total views!
I’ve also created an online watercolor class that digs deep into the basics behind watercolor painting – knowing your supplies, understanding how water interplays with the paint, how temperature effects the process, etc. The class is called Foundations for Mastering Watercolor Painting (available on UDemy.com).
Q: Can you tell us about the business of art, how you find clients, how does one gain visibility as an artist?
I think the business of art is being transformed by technology, as in many other industries. Many artists feel that art can only be sold in person – that the client wants to see the work in person before they purchase. This is still true, but it’s becoming less and less of a factor. Retail in general is slowly transferring to an online format. Buyers are discovering the broad (worldwide) variety of artists and art styles available online, and online galleries are learning what online buyers need in order to take the plunge, such as simulated in-home viewing and return capability. Are local shows and galleries helpful? Yes. But the working artist today has to tap into the online market as well through a website, online shows, online galleries, or eNewsletters.
Q: What do you look for when you are composing a painting?
I look for intensity of feeling… in myself. If a scene hits me intensely, all that’s left is lining up the composition, sketching out a rough image, selecting the colors, and deciding on what techniques to emphasize. The passion is my signal that I’m on to something good. I do like to use triangulation in my compositions in conjunction with subtle color schemes.
Q: What is your favorite “go to” color/color formula in your paint box? Why?
I use French Ultramarine a LOT, both for oil and watercolor. There’s no other color quite like it and I love how it mixes with earth tones. In watercolor, I sometimes use its granulating capability to emphasize atmosphere in my landscapes. I also use a lot of Burnt Umber.
Q: Who are your artistic influences, both past & present?
About two years ago, I attended an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art that featured a collection of Andrew Wyeth’s window paintings. The compilation of paintings was breathtaking. What a master! And what freedom he must have had. His work is always inspiring, as is the work of John Singer Sargent. My jaw literally drops when I see his work. It’s total joy to see it up close – those brushstrokes!
Q: What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created and why?
There are a few pieces that I really love, and the funny thing is they’re not necessarily the ones that are popular with the public. These are the paintings that came out almost exactly as I had envisioned them the I saw the scene.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
My primary focus right now is finishing a new online painting course called Brushstrokes. I’ve been working on it for approximately a year – tons of research and lots of video taping. I’m hoping to release it this month, to include a 3-part YouTube video: Brushstrokes (and the masters who made them famous). Then, back to painting.
Q: What are your goals?
I want to continue to explore my individual artistic style – to find ways of incorporating new ideas that will help me better express what it is in this world that enthralls me.
Q: What inspires you?
Life. Nature. God.
Q: Do you have a blog or website that people can follow you along at?
People can see my work on my website (JillPoyerd.com), YouTube Channel (Jill Poyerd Fine Art), on UDemy.com, and on UGallery.com. I also put out a quarterly eNewsletter where I list news exhibits, and new artwork. Sign up is available on my website contact page, or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.