(left) Jill McLean, Ever Closer / (below) Jill McLean in her studio
We sometimes fight against the stuff we were created to do. I was a graphic designer with my own firm, until painting was something I couldn’t run away from any longer. It was the real purpose I couldn’t be sidetracked from. Early on, I worked in very controlled lines informed by my graphic design background. Looking back, I was trying to tame it, to be a graphic designer with it. The earlier work was a bridge, a way of releasing the old life and growing into the new. Today, mark making isn’t a limitation. It accommodates the expression of what I have to say. And what is behind that optimism, ultimately, that hope? What makes an artist? What makes her authentic? Behind optimism must be a kind of fearlessness. If an artist is authentic, you’ll see it – a brightness that’s very like joy. An intangible generosity. An artist is creating something visceral and visible, yet acts 38
as a conduit between inward inputs and outward expressions. Call us “stewards
of the unseen.” That’s who I am. The first thing I want people to experience is me.
The Broad Museum in Los Angeles Art Basel Miami Beach Sailing in the Caribbean