VAM 36 | Artist Profile: Jill Conroy

Name: Jill Conroy
Title of work: Year After Year
Facebook Page:  http://www.facebook.com/jillconroyart

Meet the artists in VAM 36!

Visual Arts Mississauga 36th Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts, at the Art Gallery of Mississauga from January 16 – February 22, received 209 entries from across Ontario. Jurors selected 52 artists to be in the show.

Until the end of the exhibition, the AGM blog will feature VAM 36 artists. Learn about the thinking behind the works in the exhibit, and see the works in person at the AGM!

1.      Tell us about your work in VAM 36. Give us an idea of the conceptual framework you used in creating this piece. What inspired it? Why did you choose to use that particular medium? Why that particular perspective, set of colours, subject matter, etc.

Whenever I create a piece, I first look for a vintage image of a person, almost always a child, that I think is interesting and soulful. This is very important as my intention in creating art work is to tell a story from a child’s point of view. Often I do not know exactly what the story will be as I process through to the final product. Such is the case with this piece.

After I selected and altered the image I wanted to work with, I decided what size and kind of substrate I would use. For this piece I used a 18” x 24” wood panel. I then began to play with the composition trying different bits of paper and adding acrylic paint and gel matte medium.

Gradually, an idea for the narrative began to form. Later when I searched through my collection of ephemera for embellishments, I found a vintage greeting card message that I used to enhance my story.

In “Year After Year” you see a young girl blowing a giant bubble that eventually bursts. There is joy and anticipation of both the bubble and its burst. In our lifetime, each of us acquires a wealth of memories that trigger different emotions. Though the emotions are fleeting, we are grateful for them and look forward to making new memories to recall.

2.      How would you describe your creative process? How has your style changed since you started, and what do you think is the reason behind the change?

I enjoy working with a variety of materials (paper, paint, ephemera) and bringing them together to create collage paintings. I have admired the work of other mixed media artists for many years and have only just recently been able to give time and attention to creating some of my own. I developed some understanding of this medium through online art workshops and Youtube postings by artists who have worked with these materials and are willing to share their techniques. I am drawn to antiques and all things vintage, which I have been collecting for years. This may account for my preference to use vintage colours in greyed tones.

3.      If time and money were no object, what artistic project would you like to undertake? What about this project fascinates you, and how do you think it will engage the viewer?

Most of my work thus far has been small in scale. Creating larger scale works such as this one, is something I hope to do more of in the future.

I recently became a grandmother and hope to create a series of collages with my grandson as the subject. I believe that there will never be a shortage of inspiration for my visual narratives given the many years of experience with children that I have to draw upon. My goal as an artist is always to stir emotions and awaken memories that are common to us all.

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