Click here to view more photos from the opening night and to watch a video of Jill describing her sources of inspiration and some of her art processes.
Jill Ehlert - solo show at the Stairwell Gallery - Victoria, BC - July/August
The Stairwell Gallery is a space devoted to the visual arts in St Philip Anglican Church. The gallery is open for viewing Monday to Friday 9am to noon and by appointment.
STATEMENT - JILL EHLERT
The body of work in the "Stairwell Gallery" and Sanctuary explore stages of the Life Cycle. "Birth - Growth - Maturity - Decay - Death - Renewal" - I am fascinated by the series of changes and transformations that an organism undergoes as it returns to the starting state.
The six drawings at the bottom of the stairwell are an exploration into the later stages of maturity and decay. Shrivelled forms of a day lily…the decaying structure of a Hosta leaf…the beautiful form of the poppy capsule -full of seeds ready for renewal.
The two triptychs in the Sanctuary are part of a series titled "Transformations". I combined dissimilar objects such as pomegranates, plankton, pears, decorative curtain tassels, the inner ear and the mechanical structure of a potato masher. These forms were simplified into smaller components through a process of drawing, editing and refining. I intermixed these unlikely combinations, creating an invented language of organic shapes.
The work on the right hand side of the stairwell and the little painted pieces on the bulletin board are invented idiosyncratic shapes inspired from those found within my "Transformations" series - keeping in mind natural forms and stages of birth and growth.
Studies on the bulletin board show my ongoing interest in the structure and stages of nature.
Natural History Illustration workshop that I participated in.
From October to Decemebr 2016 - I participated in this six-week online course through edX and the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia. Here is a video describing the course.
The course covered:
- Core scientific observational skills
- Field drawing and sketching techniques
- Concept sketch development
- Composition for natural history illustration
- Form, proportion and structure essentials
- Drawing and rendering techniques
This was an excellent course, I really learned a lot. I would recommend this course to anyone. I am not sure when they will run it again. The website was easy to navigate and to figure out. We learned about self-assessment and peer-assessment which was really valuable. We uploaded our homework for peer review from 5 other students. We could also upload our work to a general area for all to see and comment on. There was some fantastic work being done from students all over the world. There were many short videos to view, lots to read along with images and each module had a list of resources. I came away with new skills and an excitement to get out into field to collect specimens, so some field sketching and finished drawings back in the studio. The course was free - I am not sure why...the University of Newcastle is one of five universities to offer a Masters in Natural History Illustration - perhaps this is there way of gaining interest in the program. I decided to pay for a verifiable certificate that shows I completed and got a passing grade in a course of study offered by NewcastleX.
Below are images of the pencil work that I did for the course. The photographs are field studies showing location and the ecology of the area. The ruler gives scale to the seaweed and surrounding area. The field notes show detail, colour notation, form, structure and descriptive records. Click on an image to view larger images and a slide show.
Upcoming show I am participating in: April 25 to May 31, 2016
Update: The show has been extended to May 31, 2016
The Robert Bateman Centre
470 Belleville Street, Victoria, B.C. V8V 1W9, Canada
Hours: Daily: 10am - 5pm Details: http://batemancentre.org/visit/
Website for this special exhibition: http://endangeredartexhibits.weebly.com/
Diana Durrand - www.dianadurrand.com/
Natasha van Netten - www.natashavannetten.com/
Jill Ehlert - www.jillehlert.com/
Connie Michele Morey - www.conniemorey.com/
David Hunwick - www.thesculpturestudio.net
Luis-Mario Guerra - www.luismarioguerra.weebly.com/
Carol Thompson - www.carolethompson.ca/
Trish Shwart - www.trishshwart.com/
Caren Willms - www.carenwillms.weebly.com/
"Devils Hole pupfish" (Cyprinodon diabolis) © 2016 Jill Ehlert 13" X 19"
Artist statement - Jill Ehlert
The endangered Devils Hole pupfish is significant to me given my interest in aquatic environments and water related species. There were only 131 Cyprinodon diabolis recorded in the biannual count conducted in September 2015. My watercolour painting focuses on a limestone shelf that measures 3.0 X 6.3 metres, which the pupfish depend on for spawning and for much of their diet. The pupfish eat primarily microscopic diatoms, a type of algae that clings to large bright green filamentous algae. Other species found on this shelf are tiny invertebrates: amphipods, spring snails, two types of beetles, and flatworms. The Devils Hole pupfish are considered the rarest fish in the world; they measure one-inch long and are so named, as they seem as playful as puppies. In this artwork, I enlarged the pupfish and took artistic license varying the scale of the microscopic world that surrounds them.