May Artist – Jill Robinson
Jill Robinson – May Artist
ArtProfiler’s Artist Monthly series highlights one artist per month for exceptional work in his or her chosen medium.
Producing gourd art is Jill Robinson’s undying passion. She has always loved to “create” with her hands and began the long creation journey 30+ years ago first loom weaving, then weaving baskets and teaching basket weaving. Jill was exposed to gourds in the basket world and began to build an interest in their creative potential. She has been producing gourd art for about 12 years, and full-time for the last 6 years after retiring from the State of Texas. These days, she finds herself mostly always lost inside of her imagination, thinking about her next gourd art creation. Jill produces gourd art because she can’t not do it. To her, that is the definition of passion. She says, “Gourd art owns me in the best possible way.”
Educating herself and continually adding new techniques to her arsenal is vital to her work. She has learned a lot about technique and attention to detail from a few experts and appreciates their willingness to share their expertise. Stimulating her artistic nerves is also important to Jill—she takes a long trip every year to Arizona, Southern California, Colorado and New Mexico during which time she focuses on drinking in every bit of art she possibly can. For Jill, it is really valuable to see and experience a wide variety of art for inspiration.
Although not a competitor at heart, she does enter competitions, mainly to push herself to create high-quality work. It’s also important to Jill that she stay current and relevant to those interested in her art.
The tactile qualities and visual beauty of the materials inspire her every day (i.e. shapely gourds, lusciously long pine needles, cactus fiber, gemstones, walnuts, seagrass, and on and on). As much as possible, Jill tries to enhance the inherent shape of the natural gourd rather than cutting them all to create some version of a bowl. She does create many bowls, but usually from an already bowl-shaped gourd. How she also finds time to do alcohol-ink paintings in addition to her gourd work is a mystery!
Jill participates annually in the WEST Austin Studio Tour (at her house) and in the EAST Austin Studio Tour (at Link and Pin Gallery). She also exhibits in the Kerrville Fine Art Festival (usually Memorial Day weekend), and in two beautiful galleries—Hill Country Collectables in Wimberley and Art Connections in La Grange—both located in lovely historic downtown districts.
Texture, shape, color and design, whether contemporary or traditional, inspire my creativity. Gourds with their vast variety of shapes, large and small, have become the canvas for my impassioned mixed-media expression of natural beauty working harmoniously with contemporary elements.
To see more of Jill’s work, please visit her website.