The painting to the side is called “Dark Passages”. Oils swirl and mix together, painting life. To me, it seems that Jill Soukup is not painting just a moment, a split second, but a series of movements as the horses gallop right across the painting and into the night.
Location: Colorado, USA
Jill spent most of her life in Colorado, where her family moved shortly after she was born in New York. Jill, like many artists before and since, spent countless hours drawing and doodling horses. Not surprisingly, she started her own pet-portrait business when she was in her teens. She decided early on that she would make art her career, earning her Bachelor’s degree of Fine Art She from Colorado State University in 1991. She won many awards for her design/illustration and worked as an illustrator and designer for the university. After 11 years working as a designer while painting part time, Jill decided to focus on her painting career. Today, Jill’s work can be found in galleries in Colorado and Wyoming and she has a slew of exhibits coming up this fall/winter season!
The intent of my work is to capture the balance that exists at the intersection of opposite elements and to expose underlying similarities in things that are perceived to be fundamentally different. I’m driven by the process of painting contrasts, and by pushing value, color, and texture in a hyper-real setting.- Jill Soukup
TFS: How long have you been around horses? Did you always want a career in the equine industry?
JS: I’ve been observing horses since I was 6 years old. I rode frequently when I was about 8 – 18. No. I’ve always known I wanted a career in the arts. Painting horses professionally was more about fortunate circumstances.
TFS: When did you first start creating art? Do you/your family have an artistic background?
JS: For as long as I can remember. My mother is a very visual and creative person; but no, my family does not have an professional artistic background.
TFS: Would you tell us more about your paintings? What sizes do you paint and do you make prints?
JS: I primarily paint oil on canvas. Most of my work content is generated from spending time and gathering reference material from two particular ranches managed by the Philips family and the Nature Conservancy (Chico Basin Ranch in Colorado Springs and Zapata Ranch near Alamosa Colorado). My paintings range in size from about 4 x 5 inches up to 84 x 96 inches. I do not make reproductions of my paintings but I have played a bit in intaglio prints.
TFS: How would you describe your style?
JS: Representational with expressionistic and abstract tendencies.
TFS: What’s your process?
JS: I begin with digital manipulation, transforming my photographs by cropping and resizing elements to create a basic structure and composition, which I refine through sketches and color studies. I then begin painting with oil on canvas, wet on wet. As the paint dries, and its consistency changes, I use a variety of tools and brushes to scrape, blend, and sculpt it before the final application of wet-on-dry paint.
TFS: Any upcoming exhibits?
JS: Art for Horses exhibit in Colorado USA, September 15–October 30, 2016
Rims to Ruins November 1–22, 2016 at Saks Galleries in Denver, Colorado, USA
Small Works, Great Wonders Art Sale, November 11–December 31, 2016 at
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Windows to the Divine Abstraction & Representation: Finding Common Ground, November 17–December 3, 2016 Denver, Colorado
Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale, January 2–22, 2017 Red Carpet Reception: Tuesday, January 3rd, Denver, Colorado
The Russell: An Exhibition & Sale to Benefit the C.M Russell Museum
March 16–18, 2017, Great Falls, Montana
Cowgirl Up: Art from the Other Half of the West Invitational Exhibition & Sale, March 24–May 7, 2017, Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona,
TFS: Where can people see your art?
TFS: Any advice for other artists?
JS: Know your intentions, set concrete goals, work hard and draw, draw, draw—its a skill that needs constant exercise, like an athlete preparing for an event—one wouldn’t run a marathon without training.
TFS: How do you promote your work and find new collectors? Do you find in-person events or social media work better, or both?
JS: I am most grateful to my galleries who have advertised and used social media to promote my work. In person events and social media have been invaluable to my career.
Thanks so much for your inspiring advise to other artists and for giving us a look at for future exhibits, Jill! Looks like you quite an exciting fall/winter ahead 🙂