Sheffield Artist Jill Ray
It’s time for our latest “Fellow Sheffield Creatives” feature, and this time it’s Sheffield Artist Jill Ray and her stunning landscapes.
We have been admirers of Jill’s work for a couple of years and we are so pleased she managed to find the time to be our latest contributor.
Volta: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Jill: What: Just an awareness of patterns in the landscape really. A big inspiration are the oak trees in the woods where I walk our dog. They have very distinctive branching patterns which I get a bit obsessed with. Also the bigness of the peaks and coastal landscapes.
Who: I had decided to take early retirement from my previous job as a Landscape Architect and go back to where I started, as an Artist. I planned to work mainly in oils, however, when I saw what David Hockney was producing with his ipad work, it was a major lightbulb moment and I decided to really develop the digital work I had already been experimenting with.
Volta: Were you self-taught or have you had training?
Jill: I went to art school in the 70’s St Albans School of Art, Foundation Course and Falmouth School of Art, BA Hons Course. It wasn’t very ‘formal’ in those days but especially at St Albans I was taught to look. I worked mainly in pencil and oil on canvas.
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Jill: It was when I was working for Sheffield City Council as a Landscape Architect. Sketching using a PC seemed a sensible and flexible way to create images of what we were proposing to build, to show at public consultation events. Creating shapes and flooding with colour became a bit addictive as did layering up the image to build the intensity of colour.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Jill: Huge influence. Most of my work is inspired by Sheffield woodlands I spend so long in them and walking, especially in the Dark Peak which is so easily accessible from Sheffield.
Volta: What is your favourite media to work with?
Jill: Well I love working digitally because it is so immediate but still love the physical aspect of working in oil.
Volta: What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Jill: Always the most recent one, whether digital or in oil.
Volta: Do other areas of creativity have any influence on your work?
Jill: Music is very helpful when I’m working. It allows part of my brain to be distracted and my work becomes more intuitive and flows better.
Volta: If you could lay claim to one piece of creative work in any area what would it be and why?
Jill: Too many to pick really! Pretty well anything by Rembrant for a start… perhaps ‘Portrait of Hendrickje Stoffels‘ that painting was an early obsession when I was an art student.
Volta: Who is your creative hero?
Jill: Oh hundreds of them! I won’t list them because I would end up leaving out too many.
Volta: What advice would you give an aspiring fellow artist who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Jill: Well I suppose just go for it! Do what feels right but be prepared to put the hours in. Don’t wait for the creative urge to come, you have to make it happen with hard work.
Sheffield Artist Jill Ray
Want to find out a little more about Jill and her work? Here are the links to her social media.
Interested in Jill’s art? Visit her website, send her an email (links below) or click on the two social media icons to view her Facebook and Twitter pages.
View our previous Fellow Sheffield Creatives