Jill Hadley Hooper
I came across an intriguing image on Art Listings Professional by Jill Hadley Hooper.
There’s something quite haunting about it. I’m reminded of the odd visual effect of seeing snow fall in front of a dark wall – against the sky, snow looks dark, against a wall, it looks light. And a horse? Well, why not? I’m sure she meant something by it, but it doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the piece not to know.
Naturally curious fellow that I am & not being familiar with the artist, I looked up her up. It turns out that as well as being a fine artist, she’s a very widely published illustrator (peruse this selection of her delightful spot illustrations, for example) or this wonderful piece:
Floating / Falling was part of her fine art work,. She mentions that the paintings tend to be quite large, compared to the more constrained space of illustration. As a working practice that seems like a good way to stretch all your creative muscles.
The illustration work is done with traditional materials, water-based paint and ink, that are scanned in and assembled in Photoshop. I used to work in oils until once the protective tissue stuck to the final art I had fedexed and the art director published the image with paper intact (my work looked different back then so it wasn’t as odd a mistake as it sounds, it actually helped the piece. And the AD was David Carson). But the dry time with the oils was too difficult, when I switched media my work changed too and became more graphic.
The paintings are created using different transfer and printmaking techniques. I like to work large, perhaps because of the size restrictions of illustration. And it’s nice to stand and wave my arms around. Text is often the armature that I use to start a painting, among the works I’ve returned to are; Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch and his short stories, Goethe’s Faust, Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and Annie Dillard’s For the Time Being.
I live in Denver where it’s bright (too bright) and dry. I share a 100 year old house with my partner of 20 years, Hugh Graham, and my dog of 3, Maddie. Someday I hope to live where it’s not so contrasty.
Hadley Hooper is quite prolific, and also recognized. For instance, she won a silver medal from the The 48th Annual of the Society of Illustrators for her poster of the opera, Popea (Central City Opera).
Her style is really impressive. I enjoy the combination of printing and drawing and the deceptive simplicity she employs to block out very graphic forms with very lush, painterly surfaces.
You can see more of Hadley Hooper’s work on her portfolio site. There’s quite a lot of it & it’s very enjoyable, so take your time.