The Artistry of Jill Pottle
By Cheryl A. Cuddahy
Lunenburg’s Jill Pottle is a professional landscape and still-life artist who is fascinated with the common objects that we take for granted, and she has committed herself to connecting the world with visual art through painting and teaching.
“This fascination of art began as a child who admired the works of Rembrandt,” Jill says. “That is when I knew I wanted to paint, taking my first painting class at age 12 at the Silvermine Art Guide in Connecticut.”
Jill later received a master’s degree in fine arts from The Boston Museum School and has been teaching fine arts for more than 30 years with students of all ages and skill levels from children to college level and beyond.
“Each opportunity to teach has allowed me to share my studio work with others and guide students in exploring their own creativity,” she says.
Jill currently teaches at Danforth Museum of Art, Fruitlands Museum, Worcester Art Museum, and Lexington Arts and Crafts Society, among other institutions.
She also holds classes and workshops all over New England, sharing her passion for art and educating the public on aesthetics.
Jill will lead the first of two upcoming art workshops Saturday, Nov. 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lunenburg Public Library, 1023 Massachusetts Ave.
“In this workshop, entitled ‘Expressive Collage with Oil Pastel,’ I will guide participants through art-making, creating several compositions using color paper from magazines and oil pastels,” Jill says.
Working from portrait, still life and landscape, participants will explore this medium using collage to build up layers of colors, tones and values, she says.
Participants at all skill levels are welcome to this class, but they will be responsible for bringing their own materials. A list is available at the library and on the library’s website.
The event is free. Space is limited, and registration is required by calling 978-582-4140.
Jill will also teach a colored-pencil drawing class at Lunenburg Public Library on Saturday, Dec. 1. More details on this second workshop will be upcoming.
As important as teaching art is, Jill is fascinated by the art of creating using oil, acrylics, dry and oil pastels, and collage materials.
“While painting still life, I get lost in the moment,” Jill says, “searching for that perfect brush stroke or that delicious color combination that leads to a vivid illusion of reality. I am fascinated with common household items that we take for granted. I look for objects that have been used and loved extensively.”
Landscape painting (In Plein Air) is also important for Jill.
“Working outside from life with the natural beauty and response of nature excites the eye,” Jill says. “My desire is to capture the gesture of life and time in motion in one painting.
“Each work of art I create gives me joy, challenge and inspiration, and the opportunity to delve into the process of art exploration,” she adds.
Jill exhibits her work in galleries, homes and alternative spaces. Her work is for sale. In addition to teaching in a class environment, she also offers private lessons for adults and children.
Occasionally, Jill says, she gets a unique project and is open to artwork that goes outside the box.
“Going outside of your comfort zone can be a challenge,” she says. “For example, picking subject matters, such as ripped-up boxes, broken dishes or an old falling-down house, and looking for great personalities and things that are not beautiful to the naked eye.”
I asked Jill her thoughts on the importance of art in our world today.
“I like to get my students out into the environment and to see the beauty in nature,” she says. “Making a connection between the artist and what you see ultimately makes you more aware of your surroundings, and perhaps you will take more care of our planet.”
For more information on Jill Pottle, visit her website, www.pottleart.com .
Got a column subject or item for Community Conversations? Email ccuddahy@sentinelandenterprise. Read her blog at blogs.sentinelandenterprise.com/communityconversations .