We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Stewart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jill, what do you want your legacy to be?
When I look back over my journey as an artist and how I got here, I credit my passion for creating soulful connections with others. It is an honor to be able to memorialize a pet with a soulful portrait, and bring a smile to someone when they view my paintings. The most fulfilling aspect of what I do is the ability to lift others up. I’ve never compromised this value in pursuit of success. Instead, it has served as a constant barometer. People who are attracted to my style feel something beyond the image before them. A shift occurs to a lighter, healing space and love transcends loss. .
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After a very fulfilling career in the corporate world, I was presented with a life-changing medical condition that shifted my priorities. My body began to fail and the world I had worked so hard to build suddenly crumbled. It was at this crossroads, I decided to get to know myself on a level of higher consciousness. Along this journey, I dropped my self-judgment and the door to my passion for painting portraits opened wide. The shift to art came when I was ready. It wasn’t forced or unnatural. Oftentimes, we tell ourselves, “I SHOULD do this, or I HAVE to do that”. That is when we are least fulfilled. Finding the meaning behind what I do, unveiled the “why”. It’s cliche, but doing what I love has been the path to my success. Keeping my heart open to possibilities, and trusting that everything happens for a reason, have been constant values. The journey has been hard, and full of unknowns. But, because I am driven by my passion, my courage shows up and fear subsides. I am dedicated to creating art which gives a visual voice to what speaks to the soul.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I feel most alive in nature – when all of my senses are engaged. The warmth of the sun, the sound of the wind rustling through the trees, the scent of the pine trees, observing the beauty of the large and small treasures of Colorado, and the taste of local food or drink. I would take my guest to the places they would appreciate. The places we would visit would include urban locales and those off the beaten path, to share memorable experiences. We would be impromptu and let our interests and passions guide our adventure of discovery.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Art Students League of Denver’s Rob Gratiot – As an art instructor, Rob critiques with artistic encouragement and technical empowerment. Rob is responsible for so much of my success as an artist. With his instruction, I have discovered my own style and artistic path. The ASLD is a gift to the community and I will always be indebted.