By Nicolas Palermo | Posted Friday, May 25, 2018
By painting images inspired by the reflections of light on objects, New Jersey-based painter Jill Carlock creates works that are not necessarily representational or non-objective. Many of the outlines for the paintings come from shapes created by the light-reflections, but the radiant embellishments that layer over the outlines are purely from Jill’s imagination.
The tropical colors Jill chooses to use coexist in harmony with the patterns and brush strokes to create a sense of rhythm. But Jill’s paintings don’t all move to the same beat, as evident in the variations in forms and hues from one work to the next. White paint is used sparingly, but its presence in the composition should not be ignored.
Like the very light that is the inspiration behind so many of Jill Carlock’s pieces, her work shines with energy, evoking memories of being a kid and seeing the colorful shapes that dance behind closed eyelids as you lay down in the sun.
Tell us a little about where you are from in NJ. Do you enjoy living in that area? Do you feel like living there has had an effect on your artwork?
I'm from Middletown, right in the center of the state near all the good beach stuff! It was a really solid place to grow up, mainly because there were so many things to do. Living here has influenced my work in terms of customizing surfboards and pretty much whatever I could get my hands on. Driving down the street to a complete view of the NYC skyline also always keeps me motivated to work. Of course, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets also make for instant inspiration. Overall it is a great place to come home to, but it is definitely time to broaden my horizons and see what else is out there.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
I primarily fluctuate between oil and acrylic paint on canvas. When I feel that I need to keep things moving and a change of scenery I'll turn to painting on griptape and other found materials at that given time. I also enjoy playing around in the realm of textile design by using fabric prints of my paintings and incorporating those 3D elements into forms of wearable art.
To me, your artwork has a very free and vibrant personality. Do you go into a project with an outline in mind for the painting or is it spontaneous? Do you use a combination of both approaches?
Initially, I started using loose sketches that I made from light reflections on square pieces of plastic, reflective material. With each painting, I began to develop my own sense of shape and composition, almost like forming my own personal vocabulary for my work. Lots of trial and error, but eventually learning which shapes or colors go well together. I'd say I use a combination as of right now, mainly because although there may be some shaped sections planned out, the majority of the time color is what I tend to have more freedom with.
I love the color schemes that you use for your paintings. Who or what is your color inspiration? What combinations of colors do you find yourself most attracted to?
Thank you! I have lots of inspiration from just being very fond of colorful things my whole life. Bright color has always represented boldness and confidence to me. The human eye just cannot resist it -- kind of like sweets. Fruit, candy and desserts all share that one thing in common -- aside from a few gnarly trips to the dentist. I find a lot of comfort in a nice, smooth gradient. Dandelion yellow into a fleshy pink is most likely the most appealing to me at the moment. I do enjoy more toned down, sexy colors like reddish browns, dark grays and burgundy. ;o
I’d like to know more about your griptape design work. What was your introduction to skateboarding? What is it about skateboarding that influences you to incorporate it into your artwork?
Skateboarding was very present while I was growing up, although I never truly stepped on to a board and gave it my all until these past couple years. My brother was very into it, and we had a halfpipe in our backyard. I did surf for the majority of my youth into adulthood, which took up most of my time aside from art. I feel like skateboarding has a direct connotation to my work in more of a conceptual way. It requires full confidence, commitment, and acceptance of failure. I feel like that is the exact way that I feel when I am working and feel hesitant to make a big change where there is "no turning back." It's all just a matter of pushing yourself.