Jill Hooper: Artist in Depth

Many of our students have had the joy of studying under Jill Hooper during her welcomed visits to the UK.

On her most recent trip, Jill Hooper hosted a fantastic demonstration evening on “Drawing the Male Torso: Materials and Techniques”, an event which raised funds for our Ukrainian Artist Fund. This fund goes towards enabling Ukrainian artists to study with us during the term.

Based in North Carolina, Jill Hooper has been coming to teach at London Fine Art Studios for 11 years. As a result, she has since received our International Artist Residency Award in recognition of her dedication to the studios and exemplary skills in oil painting, drawing, and craftsmanship. Indeed, during her “Drawing the Male Torso” workshop, she generously shared these skills with us. Drawing from a live model, Jill took us through her artistic process, from drawing the figure in conte pastel, charcoal and even making her own ink. The influence of Old Masters such as da Vinci and Michelangelo is beautifully evident in her work, and is perhaps a reminder to us all not to forget the value of master studies!

Jill’s connection with the school is a long and deep one. She met Ann Witheridge, founder of London Fine Art Studios, and Ann’s husband, Scott Pohlschmidt, when studying in Florence at some point “in the last century”. Before studying the sight-size tradition in art history’s favourite Italian city (controversial?), Hooper trained under D. Jeffrey Mims for several years, as well as at the Universite de Haute Bretagne in Rennes, France. She has additionally trained under Benjamin Long VI at the League of the Carolinas, working with him on a fresco of epic proportions.

With ties all over the globe, Jill’s work has been exhibited likewise. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston (where she was, in fact, the youngest person to have their work collected), and had her self-portrait exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery. Hooper is currently preparing for an exhibition set for 2024.

Many of the works in the exhibition are inspired by her travels to Italy, Egypt, and Israel. Before lockdown, Jill was able to travel as part of a project researching for a book ‘The Current’, which is being published this coming Autumn (2022). Hooper’s contribution to this work includes paintings and drawings from marble quarries in Carrara, Italy, and Egypt.

At present, Jill is designing a mural for the Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, where she spent time in 2014. Her stunning portraiture series of those she met there can be found here.

All of us at London Fine Art Studios are very much looking forward to welcoming Jill Hooper back sometime soon! Let’s see if we can get her to do another demonstration evening…

You can have a look at more of Jill’s work here – on her instagram and her website.

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