Get to know Jill Nolan, a self-taught abstract artist specializing in fluid acrylics. She describes her art as abstract and emphasizing movement. “It is an intuitive process that combines a plan with responding to the medium, as fluid paint can sometimes be surprising.” Part of what drew Jill to fluid art was the ability to capture the movement of the paint and freeze it in time.
Part of what drew Jill to fluid art was the ability to capture the movement of the paint and freeze it in time.
She is a native West Virginian and grew up in Athens (Mercer County). She has a degree in Psychology as well as Public Health from both Marshall University and West Virginia University and is currently an Associate Professor of Health Education at Concord University. While always enjoying creative pursuits, Jill tells us she did not start exploring fine art until 2019. Learn more about Jill with our Q&A:
How do you describe your palette?
I am drawn to vibrant colors that often have sharp contrast within the piece.
What inspired you to become an artist?
Algorithms on social media started showing me tutorials of oil pastel paintings. They were rich and bright and blended really well. I saw a pack of oil pastels when I was shopping with my daughter and I picked them up with a pad of paper. The tutorials were fast and I could usually complete a painting in about an hour at my kitchen table. I could do this while still spending time with my family. This was essential for me because it fit into my life very easily.
As I continued watching these tutorials I started seeing other art videos and discovered fluid acrylics. I rapidly became obsessed with it.
As I continued watching these tutorials I started seeing other art videos and discovered fluid acrylics. I rapidly became obsessed with it. This also coincided with the beginning of the pandemic so I had extra time at home and a strong desire for something positive and beautiful. I was a YouTube art student and watched so many instructional videos and eventually developed my own ideas and techniques.
What’s your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is giving myself the space to learn and fail at something new. I was seeing fluid art and I was willing to try it. My hope is that I am able to model for my kids that it is essential to be a lifelong learner and it is important to follow those things that you can’t get out of your mind. Following that impulse for me led to so many wonderful hours of creativity and connection with people all over the world.
My greatest accomplishment is giving myself the space to learn and fail at something new.
What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?
My greatest obstacle will be familiar to many working mothers, which is it’s hard to find time to do all the things. I have to prioritize space and time to create. Keeping my routines is essential for my mental and physical health. Workout routines, regular date nights, dedicated time to each of my kids every day, and time in my studio every day. It is easy to get wrapped up in responsibilities and not take time to engage in creativity. There are some days when it just doesn’t happen. Spending time in the process of creativity is essential for wellness and making work you are happy with.
How do you find your inspiration?
I am inspired by many other artists. I love to take classes online from other artists. I also like to start with a color related to emotion and build on it finding complementary and contrasting colors.
What advice do you have for other artists?
Keep learning and making time for it. If it brings you joy, you have to find time to fit it into your schedule. It’s also okay to make ugly things. I’ve had a lot of failures that were still meaningful and felt just as good while I was making them. You can always paint over it or toss it.
Keep learning and making time for it. If it brings you joy, you have to find time to fit it into your schedule.
What is your favorite piece(s) you’ve made and why?
My favorite piece was the first piece from my Healing Collection. I made this collection while we were taking care of my father-in-law at the end of his life. It is a combination of light and dark and demonstrates that even when life is hard there is joy and beauty. It was also the first piece I made combining different elements of fluid art and felt like a true discovery of my own unique style.
How can our readers purchase your art?
What is the best way for our readers to contact you?
Feel free to email me at email@example.com or use the “contact” form on my website.
– HashtagWV #140. March 2022.
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