WHAT COLLECTORS, COLLEAGUES, AND STUDENTS SAY ABOUT JILL SOUKUP’S WORK
“I’ve followed Jill’s work for many years and I’ve always been impressed with the confidence and strength of her paint applications. Her latest works are even more unhesitating, bold, and expressive, and beautifully designed, taking on completely new territory. I’m eager to see what’s next!” — artist Daniel Sprick
The following is an excerpt from a four part interview with Jill Soukup written by Rosemary Carstens exclusively for Saks Galleries Cherry Creek - Denver, Colorado. The series will cover Jill's thoughts on subject matter, style and color, process and motivation. We invite you to forward questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or join our blog page.
JILL SOUKUP ON SUBJECT MATTER
Q: Jill, your main subject matter veers between industrial/architectural and animals. The two seem poles apart and yet you paint each with an especially sensitive understanding. What draws you to the two? Are there commonalities that run deeper than one might think at first glance?
A: I’ve been intrigued by mechanical and architectural materials since a college photography class led me to a local factory where I discovered how rich these sites are in natural design. I’m drawn to the repetition of basic forms—geometric shapes that echo one another—and the abstract patterns to be found in complex masses of metal pipes, wiring, and gears. There’s an unexpected artistry there. I find some of these same patterns echoed in my observations of animals in natural settings—combining them with the flowing, more organic shapes provides increased interest or emphasis.
Q: Among animals, you seem to favor horses. What is it about them that makes you want to paint them?
A: Like so many young girls, I was obsessed with horses. Although I didn’t own one, friends often invited me to ride theirs or hang out at their stables. I drew or sculpted them constantly. I’d even sculpt them in snow large enough to sit on, so I could pretend I was riding. Their graceful, gestural shapes contrast beautifully with the mathematical qualities of architecture—the triangles, squares, and rectangles of buildings—so there is a real synchronicity between my two main subject matters. Explorations with horse hair led to experiments with texture in architectural pieces. Intricate factory scenes inspire me to see those qualities in a grouping of horses—their multiple legs and bodies giving a complex structure and linear quality to an otherwise curved composition