When surrounded by prospective buyers and local art collectors, Maine artist Jill Valliere loves to share her work, her process, and her studio-self. She entertains her audience with a passion for Maine and her art. The wave of her hands and the excitement in her voice always hold a celebration. She is centered and focused, but all-encompassed in the description of what she loves.
“I start each piece with a coat of tinted plaster. Yes, plaster,” she laughs. “Of course a canvas can’t hold this level of weight. Luckily, my husband, an architect by trade, has more than a few skills and hand builds my hollow core panels.”
Once her first layer is dry, she breaks out her favorite tool. The power sander. Plaster and a power sander mean serious business. It is a perfect combination. However, for the smooth surface, she needs to begin her process.
“Layer by layer, I apply metallic paints and glazes of all colors over the metal leaf of gold, bronze or silver. Over and over I add and take away, revealing the beauty beneath by contrast,” shares Valliere. “I use a Venetian plaster knife or my trusted sander to break through and carve in, exposing underlayers and creating texture and depth.”
Valliere’s process is unique and unusual, and the finished product is as well. When asked about her work, Valliere always focuses on the celebration of place.
“My newest works are inspired by a flight into Portland airport, followed up by aerial maps of Maine,” Valliere says. “The waters and coast are depicted in color and metallic that offer an interesting view of Maine. I am a local girl, and I have a local eye. I enjoy capturing the true beauty of where I live, be it abstract or realistic. What I paint is merely an interpretation of what I see.”
Valliere and her husband live on the central coast of Maine with their two pups. They also have a small cottage on a lake nearby. These two locations provide her with a variety of perspective on Maine, and it’s beauty.
To see more of her work, visit The Works on Maine Art Hill at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. Open 10 am daily. FMI 207-204-2042 or [email protected].