From numerous detailed studies to large-scale drawings, Jill Hooper (pictured in her home studio) is continually expanding her artistic repertoire.
Scaling Up: “My teacher Charles Cecil would say, ‘life-size is more lifelike,’ says Hooper. She’s testing that theory out on five new works for this fall’s Gibbes Museum of Art show.
When painting oils, Hooper works “from life,” as “it’s a much richer experience,” she says. “By being present, an essence naturally reveals itself in the drawing or painting.” (Above) Phoenix by Jill Hooper (oil on linen; 36 x 59 inches, 2010)
Her self-portraits, such as Pugnis et Calcibus, depict her mastery of realism, as well as capturing contour and light. The self-portrait was accepted to the prestigious British Petroleum Exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery in 2007.
Persimmon Season (oil on linen, 21 x 25 inches)
“I can go into a museum anywhere and feel immediately at home,” says Hooper. The artist spends as much time as possible each year in London, with visits to Italy (pictured, in Florence at the Cloister of the Scalzo sketching a study of Del Sarto’s frescoes).
She’s also had a lifelong fascination with elephants and has made several trips to Riverbanks Zoo to do studies of its one-tusked wonder that will debut in the Gibbes show.
Hooper’s work is “now more about challenging herself than proving herself,” says Gibbes director Angela Mack.
The Haywood Street Fresco crew includes (left to right) Anselme Long, Caleb Clark, John Dempsey, and fresco creator and principal artist Christopher Holt
Hooper at work on the fresco
The Beatitudes will command a 28½- by 11-foot central wall of the sanctuary at Haywood Street Congregation.
Self Portrait by Ben Long (oil on linen, undated)
Susan in Costume by Frank Mason (oil on canvas, 59 x 37 inches, 1959)
Hirona by Jill Hooper (oil on linen on panel, 32 x 24 inches, 2009)
Preparing for a major museum exhibition, classical realist painter Jill Hooper finds herself in good company—and she’s loving it