Jill Beecher Matthew is a landscape oil painter who uses palette knives to create her works of art.
Encouraged by her mother who was an oil painter, Jill’s early life was filled with many creative projects, some of which she sold at an off-campus consignment shop as a teen. Her father, an archaeologist and landscape hobbyist, shared with her his fascination of science and nature as together they explored the beautiful Louisiana landscape of their home.
Higher education, jobs, and family life put Jill’s fine art endeavors on hold for many years. She earned a degree in microbiology from Louisiana State University, followed by graduate school at the University of New Hampshire, and then held a variety of diverse job positions from cancer research to office management in the chemical consulting industry. She also spent many satisfying years as a stay-at-home mom enjoying family activities of skiing, biking, backpacking, boating, and gardening. She remains an avid gardener today—having for many years grown fruits, berries, vegetables, and perennials; and she continues to enjoy traveling with her husband, reading, baking, and making raspberry jam to share with family and friends.
Following her parents’ deaths, Jill acquired her mother’s easel and art supplies, and began to dabble with the paints, brushes, and knives again. Inspired by childhood memories and the beauty of the landscape around her, she began taking art classes and workshops at the Lyme Art Association; mentored with CT painters Noel Belton and Leif Nilsson; studied the methods of Henri Hensche at The Cape School of Art in Provincetown, MA, and with its alumni in other parts of the country; and participated in an artist retreat to paint along the west coast of Ireland. From these various influences she has developed her own style, but continues to take advantage of select workshops to constantly improve, evolve, and grow in her artistic journey. Jill is a member of the Lyme Art Association, Madison Art Society, Essex Art Association, and Clinton Art Society -- all of the CT shoreline area; and is also a member of "Brushstrokes," a group of Connecticut plein air painters who frequently exhibit and paint together. She is grateful for the camaraderie, friendship, inspiration, and encouragement from members of this group and other artist friends.
Jill uses her knives to enrich her paintings with texture, clear, vibrant color, and brilliant light. Her works have been juried into shows and exhibited and sold at various venues throughout the CT shoreline area and northern Florida. They are an expression of her lifelong love of art and nature – a gift from her parents – and her favorite inspirational backdrops are Florida’s southern paradise and the magnificent landscape of New England.
Recent awards/honors include the Wall Street Gallery Award from Madison Art Society, Madison, CT; Exit Gallery Award, the highest award offered by the Essex Art Association, Essex, CT; First Place Winner at the annual Flagler Beach, Florida, 2015 week-long Plein Air Competition; Patrons Award - one of Clinton Art Society's top awards; Honorable Mention - FLWAA Art Exhibit at Art League of Daytona.
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