Jill McVarish grew up in the Sacramento Valley, happily ensconced in an artistic family, one of eleven children. Her father, also a painter, encouraged her inventive nature and fostered the creative talents which she exhibited at an early age. Growing up in the agricultural region of California in the ‘70s left an aesthetic mark on the artist. She recalls fond memories of her mother straining amber-colored honey from bees’ wax, “under sunset that seemed stained yellow from the mustard pollen in the air from the surrounding fields.”
Jill recieved a BFA in 1993 from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she was further introduced to the world of art, not only through the curriculum, but from the exchange of energies and ideas with her fellow students. She continued her academic pursuits abroad at the prestigious Garett Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, which was founded by the architect and furniture designer internationally renowned as one of the forefathers of modernism. While in Holland, she studied the Dutch masters and often visited the Rijksmuseum to experience the Vermeers, Holbeins and, most remarkably, the Rembrandts first-hand. McVarish often now reflects on that time as the most definitive in the formation of her style, blending her passion for contemporary and more obsurdist art with a reverence for more traditional styles of painting and visual composition..
Jill's website can be viewed here.