Jill Jeffrey was born in Derbyshire, on the edge of the Peak District, and spent much of her childhood outdoors observing and documenting her surroundings.
Jill's interest in art was fuelled by inspirational teachers throughout her school years and this ultimately led to Jill attaining a Degree in Fine Art.
Jill began teaching Theatre Design and Art as she now had a young family to support - this also gave her the freedom to paint again. Holidays with the children were always chaotic with easels, canvases, sketchbooks, boots, tents, dogs, an overloaded car or borrowed boat – but which always resulted in paintings, and sales!
Having always used a rather subdued, tonal palette in her paintings, Jill took a course with eminent water colourist, John Blockley, whom she had long admired. He introduced her to the idea of intensifying a subject using colour, and he also encouraged her to use mixed media – combining watercolour, pastel, and acrylic paint for greater effect on the same piece of work.
Jill has since continued to sketch and paint almost every day, and her paintings are now held in private collections throughout the UK, USA, Canada, Switzerland, Italy and New Zealand.
The landscape of the west of the British Isles is Jill’s greatest influence – in particular Pembrokeshire, Wester Ross and the Hebrides which she visits as often as she can, sketchbook in hand, to take in the drama, movement, majesty, and awe of these outstanding areas of rugged beauty. The excitement of crashing waves, the sad beauty of a sunset across hills, reflections and shadows cast by scudding clouds never fail to inspire her.
The sketches that Jill makes on her walks in the landscape are only part of the narrative. The colours and the emotions of her surroundings sometimes mean there's little doubt how she will paint her sketches, giving the natural environment a voice. Other times, her imagination takes over and she adds to and enhances her original sketches to bring her paintings alive. It is a collaboration between the artist and the land. Jill cherishes this connection with nature with every new day.
Over the years, Jill has exhibited at numerous galleries and events, and won a number of awards for her work.
• Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Theatre Design Award (National) - 1st Prize
• Arts Council
Designers Award (National) - 1st Prize
• Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA)
Summer Exhibition - 1st Prize
• RBSA elected Jill an Associate Member in 1996
• RBSA Everyman Award
• Fosseway Artists Prize
• Painting commission by Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Presented by Prince Charles to a company member
• Jill has been an elected member of the Pastel Society since 1997.
Membership is based on assessment of 'technical skill, originality, innovation and enthusiasm'.
• Jill has won several Pastel Society Awards/Prizes between 1997 and 2020