Top Emerging Artists of 2009 | Jill Carver

The first thing you notice when talking to Texas-based artist Jill Carver is her accent. No, it’s not southern; it’s British. Growing up in Bedfordshire, England, Carver says she was a shy child and a bit of a tomboy who loved bird-watching and drawing. At school she quickly became known as the class artist. “It was a way to be cool without speaking,” she recalls. “My mother told me I was going to be good at art because I was the first person in the school to put fingers and toes on my stick figures.”


Today, she is more than good at art. According to her peers, she is an artist’s artist. In 2008 Carver took home a slew of artists’ choice awards from shows such as Plein Air Easton in Easton, MD; the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Painting Festival in San Luis Obispo, CA; and the Sedona Plein Air Festival in Sedona, AZ. Add top honors at the Telluride Plein Air show, and it’s been quite a sensational year for the landscape painter.

Carver says that because of a certain spiritual connection she feels to the land, she has never considered spending much time in other genres. “Portraits are about capturing the essence of a person. I would rather capture the essence of a tree. And I would rather learn about the essence of a person over a beer,” she explains.

Indeed, she is most at home in pristine, unspoiled landscapes, including ones in the Lone Star State, where she regularly treks to the remote reaches of  Big Bend National Park on the Texas-Mexico border. She is the first to admit that she typically likes to get away from people when she paints. Says Carver: “I don’t do well at Quick Draw contests because painting in front of an audience is not my cup of tea.”

She is represented by Wally Workman Gallery, Austin, TX; Texas Art Gallery, Dallas, TX;

Upcoming Show
Wally Workman Gallery, June 6-July 3.

Featured in January 2009