“Morse Code” by Jill London
12” x 6”
Water gilded panel painting with punchwork.
The qualities of gold leaf and the light that is created are part of the dynamic of the reflections both internal and external on the picture plane. London only uses methods from our natural surroundings. Wood, water, chalk, rabbit skin glue, clay, gold leaf, egg tempera made with egg yolks and earth pigments are all derived from the natural environment. This mark making is part of an ongoing dialogue relating to scale, handwriting, and communication. Gold ethically sourced in Italy. Gilded panel with egg tempera and sgraffito.
London, true to her art, uses traditional methods and materials used during the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, between 1361 and 1352. She brings tradition into Modern Art.
Sgraffito is an intricate design or line drawing, which is drawn into the dried egg tempera paint surface, revealing the water gilded surface underneath. The gilded surface is painted with a hand made egg tempera paint and once it dries, patterns are scraped and drawn into the surface allowing the gilded surface to show through. Fabulous effects are created which give another dimension and detail to a gilded surface. Often this technique was used in Renaissance panel painting.
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Jill London finds freedom in her abstract artwork, and you're invited to join her.
Jill London's life is dedicated to the creation of inspirational abstract artworks. Viewers respond to the beauty and energy they see in her work. "If my art is true, it's going to be alive long after I am... Energy is a big part of this: mark-making is an expression of energy." She works deliberately, considering how each color, form, and gesture will serve the piece. She is sowing the creation of immersive spaces for contemplation and growth. "Abstract space is pretty amazing. What I try to convey in the work is this sense of vast space... To have a picture plane where you can have some freedom of thought is mesmerizing to me."
She provokes her viewers to think but doesn't want to tell them what to think. Her reverence for freedom comes from her awareness of its rarity. "I believe in free thinking, and I want people to look at the work and have an open thought... My work is really about freedom of thought."
Jill's daily rituals support a practice of love, gratitude, and conscience, and these rituals inform her creative process. She lives in harmony with nature, employing meditation, prayer, Taiji, and Qigong to bring focus and discipline to her work. She carefully prepares her materials from historic and elemental sources, mixing her own paints and inks. Jill employs gold leaf, silver leaf, and other noble alloys to amplify and reflect light and facilitate the interplay between positive and negative space.
Jill London was born in LA and grew up in Connecticut. She has a BA from Temple University's Tyler School of Art, and her artistic awareness has been shaped by travel to Israel, Italy, and Spain. After graduating from college, Jill dove into the boisterous downtown New York art scene and kept a Lower East Side studio for 41 years. She worked in Jean-Michel Basquiat's studio and apprenticed in traditional water gilding techniques with New York painter, frame-maker, gilder, and goldsmith Robert Kulicke. For six years, on and off, Jill was a printmaker and painter in Cuenca, Spain. During her time there, the city mounted a one-woman show of her work, complete with a color monograph. Many of Jill's summers included making art in a cabin on Mount Desert Island, Maine, where she enjoyed the generous support and sanctuary provided by Aurelia Thistle Brown and her Wingspread Gallery. Northern California's allure became palpable, and Jill spent many subsequent years shuttling between her live/work/gardening spaces on New York's 2nd Street (where she was an active member of the Le Petit Versailles community garden) and San Francisco's Bernal Heights neighborhood. With The Gilder's Studio, she refined her architectural gilding skills and has gilded many spectacular structures, including the NY Life Building, DC's Union Station, the Great Lion of Macau, Central Park's General Sherman Statue, and Kauai's Hindu Monastery. Jill is a much-sought-after gilding teacher. She has taught at the Smithsonian Institution, was an Adjunct Professor at FIT SUNY for several years, and enjoyed a residency at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Jill served as Chair of Education at the Society of Gilders for fifteen years. After decades of bicoastal hustle, she and her partner, artist Paul Nowell, have settled in the forests north of San Francisco.
Jill is represented on the East Coast by Barbara Pisch at Patriae Studio; in the South, by Claudia Geoly of ByCloudia, Austin; and in the West by Dennis Calabi of Calabi Gallery, Healdsburg, CA. Her works are in the permanent collection of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Museum of Archaeology, Cuenca, Spain, and in private collections around the world. She has had many one-person shows in the US and Spain and has contributed to over fifty group exhibitions in the US, Spain, Finland, and Qatar. "If I can bring some sense of beauty into this world that, right now, is feeling pretty tragic and pretty scary, I'll keep trying to do that."
Find more information about Jill Londons’s craft at gilders.com.