Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Meet Jill Peckelun
After I volunteered for the Membership Coordinator position of SVPAP, Julie contacted me and reminded me that I had asked to do a “get to know me” blog on the website and suggested maybe this would be a good time to do that. Cool.
So I thought about giving bits of my art resume, my education, my shows, galleries, etc. And then thought, “Oh, who cares?” (Because if someone is really interested, they can read it on my website www.jillpeckelun.com Shameless self-promotion there.) And if they are not, then it’s just mind-numbingly boring. Instead, I think I’ll just chat a little about what it means to me to be an artist.
I think my best art is a little bit embarrassing, either because it unintentionally reveals something about me, or because I’ve taken some risks that I know may or may not be well received by way of color, brushwork, composition or subject matter.
For example, a few years ago I was in the Camp Hill Plein Air Event and I painted a trash bin. It just looked so beautiful to me, stuffed to the brim, situated next to a cream and caramel colored building. As I was painting it I thought to myself, why am I painting a trash bin?!! But, I was enthralled and I always figure I live for those moments and I have to go with it. I got second prize for that piece and someone bought it. That time it worked out well all around.
Last year, I was having the time of my life painting a field. It was a good size piece, 16 x 20” and I was just laughing out loud I was having so much fun. Then the neighbor farmer passed by, took a look and laughed out loud too. But, not in a good way. And, then suddenly I wasn’t having quite as much fun. As he left he said, “I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings when I laughed at your painting.” I said not, but on the inside, I was pissed, thinking “I don’t tell him how to farm his fields, he should have a little more respect for my craft. I’m going to sell this painting and make a lot of money, that’ll show him. I hope it doesn’t hurt his feelings that I don’t care what he thinks.” But, of course, the thing is that my own self-doubt was raised and I really thought, well maybe it’s not so good after all. My gallery manager liked it, but it hasn’t sold. Huh.
I’ve noticed that my brushstrokes really vary depending on my mood. Once I was showing a piece to a gallery owner for his consideration and after a thoughtful pause, he turned to me and delicately asked, “By chance, were you angry when you painted this?” It was just a small landscape, but the brushstrokes were like little knives spiking everywhere. And, he was right. I was furious when I painted that…not at the landscape, but at someone close to me. He took the piece, but it didn’t sell and ultimately I trashed it.
I have noticed that when I’m really happy, exuberant in mood, my brushstrokes are big and bold and sloppy with juicy paint. And, the colors are bright and clean and wonderful. The more distressed I am personally at things that are beyond my control (life happens) the more controlled and rigid my brushstrokes get. And, my colors change too, and not always in a good way. Not at all something I try to do, but I can’t seem to paint any other way but what my mood dictates. Although lately, I’ve tried to use the color and brushstrokes to lead me out of a sad mood by deliberately trying to paint loosely and with bright colors. The success of that is still a work in progress.
Our paintings are our diaries, aren’t they? Maybe no one can really read them but us, but we remember everything of the day. Happy painting everyone! I hope to see you out there sometime.