Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jill Skupin Burkholder: Artist Interview —
Flow and Control Show

LH: Please describe your work in general—what is it about, your process etc.
Jill: The two pieces in the Montserrat show are from the series, “The Forgotten”. The images were photographed in antique stores and warehouses, capturing the strange assortment of discarded symbols and figures from our culture. I did not assemble the imagery but interpreted the scenes as found, by camera angle and composition. The texture in the image is from a 19th century photographic technique called bromoil printing that uses brushes and lithography ink to enhance the image. This hand-inked photograph is then scanned and digitally printed onto canvas.

16 x 24"
canvas with encaustic

Presented as an encaustic, each piece is animated by the smooth, sensuous wax surface. The assembled canvas and board art piece returns the subjects to their beginning, turning them again into silent objects filled with forgotten stories and hidden meanings. Incongruous icons stand together, daring us to remember a nightmare or to summon ideas that have vanished.

LH: How many of the Encaustic Conferences at Montserrat have you attended?
Jill: My first one was last year. The very first person to walk up to me with a welcome was Joanne Mattera, an early indication of the friendly, sharing atmosphere of the conference. It’s a great gathering where the experienced masters are so accessible.

LH: Did you create this work specifically for this juried show? Please explain.
Jill: No. I showed 6 pieces of this series in an exhibition at the Garrison Art Center in Garrison New York, last November. It’s great that the combination of encaustic techniques and photography is becoming more common.

LH: What is your workspace like?
Jill: I share my workspace with my husband, Dan Burkholder, who is a fine art photographer and educator. We have a large basement that includes a digital area, workspace, encaustic area and darkroom. Depending on what exhibitions are coming up, what workshops are being held or who is in a creative frenzy, the space adapts.

Photo: Jill Skupin Burkholder in her studio (red shirt, rear)

LH: Do you have other jobs other than making art?
Jill: I work with my husband, Dan, doing whatever needs to be done including organizing workshops, necessary office work, making travel plans or figuring out where we put more mat board. So yes, my full-time job is art but, as you know, you sure don’t get to actually MAKE art most of the time!

To see more of Jill's art, visit

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