Jill Matthews is a local artist whom with we have had a well-established relationship with for many years. Although we have never represented her, there has been a respect and admiration for not only her work as an artist but also as a gallery owner. However, as we know, life changes and grows and if we are smart we change and grow with it. It is through this process that Jill has come to Maine Art.
“I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Vermont where I studied Fine Art at The University of Vermont. While I graduated with a degree in Art Education and briefly was an art educator, I soon found my true passion was developing my own work,” shares Matthews.
So why Maine?
Sometimes it is the love of a person, not the love of the state that originally brings someone to Maine. Although for Matthews, an east coast girl by birth, it wasn’t a hard move to make she just had to make it a few times. “I met my husband, who is a Mainer, while I was finishing school on the west coast at The University of California San Diego,” tells Matthews. “I always knew we would find our way back east, but it was a bit of a process to finally land here for good.”
From California, they soon moved back home and started a family. Two babies later, the west coast called again, and they had to answer. “It would take a bit of time, but eventually we made yet another cross-country move back to Maine,” laughs Matthews. “We are finally home, and I feel so fortunate to live and work in this beautiful state.”
As many artists who are encompassed by the beauty here, Matthews’s work is inspired and influenced by her surroundings. “I am struck by things visually in an instant. Be it the way light plays off of something or the color interactions on a clear blue day. My favorite days are foggy days. They force my eye to see the beauty in simplicity. I strive for this in my pieces, strong uncluttered compositions. I always edit as I work, stripping away details, leaving a strength to what remains.”
Matthews has been creating art on some level for as long as she can remember. Life has led her in various directions, but one constant has been her love for art and involving herself in the creative process.
“When I was young, maybe ten, my parents gave me a print of Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Christina’s World’. It was the first time I was moved by a piece of art. I realized the power in that. How art can make me feel, how it can make me think, and how it can make me wonder no matter how many times I look at it,” says Matthews. “This is what I hope and strive for in my own art, to leave an impression on the viewer.”
Matthews’s work will be debuted in the 7th Annual Choice Show beginning on June 9 at Shows on Maine Art Hill. Gain a sneak peek on May 1 when voting begins.