Creative Encounters: Jill Hudson

Creative Encounters: Jill Hudson

The next of our creative encounters - a celebration in our 10th anniversary year of how some of our artists and makers came to show with us - is Jill Hudson who has been a Byre Gallery regular since 2017.

Jill Hudson artist

I often get asked how I find the artists and makers who show with us at the Byre, some I have to stop and think about it for a minute or two and others, like Jill Hudson, I remember exactly. In the summer of 2017 I was scrolling through Instagram when I spotted a beautiful small oil painting of a freshly squeezed lime. It was so exquisite, you could almost taste it, and I'm pretty sure it sent me in pursuit of a G&T. 

Visiting Jill's website I realised there was more to her artistic output than mouth-watering still lives.  I immediately emailed her and when she replied I made another wonderful discovery:  she lived only half an hour away.  Being based in south east Cornwall, I was getting very used to a lengthy drive down the spine of the county to the west to meet up with artists, so discovering that Jill was virtually local was a treat indeed.

Following Jill’s directions that included ‘be careful of the grass growing in the middle of the road as it gets really narrow” and ‘mind where you step as you pass the cows’ I found her studio in an enviable and very bucolic setting. Over some coffee - and very good - cake I browsed through her still lifes, seascapes, landscapes and knew I had found an artist whose work I would never tire of and, judging by her continuing popularity among Byre Gallery clients, I’m not alone.

Jill Hudson painting of a wisteria tree in full bloom

I remember asking Jill that day if she found it easy to move from painting sailing boats at full mast one day to a pomegranate on a plate the next, and she confessed that she feels that the variety of subject matter keeps her fresh.  Fast-forward to 2024 and Jill still embraces that, also enjoying the fresh subject matter that I often suggest:

"I love the switch in direction that you introduce at the Byre, which I think I need," says Jill

"I did enjoy the 'Up the Garden Path' exhibition last spring, wondrous abandon painting the riot of colour Hollyhocks-and-stocks in my little patch of grass and flowers and thinking about those intimate spaces, the personal sanctuary of what the garden is to us. Bird song being prevalent in such a place I think that led me to the golden birds, and so new work stands on the shoulders of old and the journey carries on."

Jill's 'Golden Birds' and her heady summer garden scenes are always hugely popular in the gallery but for many of our clients nothing beats her Rame Head work which is also a particular favourite of Jill's too.

Jill Hudson painting of Rame Head in south east Cornwall with spring blossom in the foreground and the headland green against a blue sea

"I love painting there," says Jill. "And I make a day of it - driving over to the Byre for a coffee and a catch up and then setting off on what is now one of my favourite walks from Tregantle to Rame Head. I've now painted many versions of said walk in many different weathers and with many varying degrees of cold sea swims...and it doesn't get old." 

Painting of Rame Head in south east Cornwall but Jill Hudson with yellow and orange flowers in the foreground and a turquoise sea

She adds: "It's a learning curve to re-visit a place like that regularly, because I really get an understanding of Monet's fascination with the different light, different time of year, different day, same subject. There's something magical in a place sometimes, like memories, which has to be captured over again." 

We have new work from Jill in our mixed spring show, Easter at the Byre from 30th March and she’ll be back in the gallery again this summer… my favourite time to enjoy a refreshing G&T.

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