Nice to Meet You! with Jill Russell

It’s time to get to know an artist with… Nice to Meet You! Today I’d like to introduce you to the inspiring art and story of Jill Russell!

From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working in mixed media and creating some fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do. Sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing my own materials. That’s why today I’d like to share with you Jill Russell:

Please introduce yourself to our readers and tell us where you live:

I am a librarian, artist and educator from Alameda, California. I love to garden, read, swim, craft and sew. I like to take what I have on hand and transform it into useful, colorful and beautiful art.

How do you make time to be creative?

I’m at my most creative in the early mornings, so every day I carve out dedicated time to create art, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. I feel at my best when I am creating, so it really is an act of self care. Everything I need to make art is set up in my home at several work stations, so I am always able to create when the mood hits.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

My current love is Gelli printing on a variety of papers using acrylic paints and stencils. I love creating brilliant colored paint layers with my handmade stencils and Caran d’ache wax pastels. I also enjoy the process of creating collage layers in my art journals using a variety of my handmade and collected papers. Being a lifelong sewer, both hand and machine stitching often add the finishing touch.

What inspires you to be creative?

Nature is one of my biggest inspirations. I am drawn to the beautiful patterns that nature creates. I love the idea of taking design elements from nature and incorporating them into my work. My art is inspired by other artists, art books and magazines. Cloth, Paper, Scissorswas one of my favorite magazines and I was so sorry to see it go. Other inspirations include YouTube videos, blogs and the Instagram community. Trips to museums also keep my creative flow inspired. I surround myself with local creative artists as often as possible.

Do you have a favorite artist?

I am fascinated with the work of the painter and ecological activist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser. I love his bold colors, irregular architectural designs and how he incorporated the natural features of the landscape into his work.


How did you get into art-making?

I have been creating since I can remember. My interests include collage, abstract art, sewing and contemporary quilting. After college, where I studied Food Science, I dove into the arts of papermaking, loom weaving, yarn spinning and dying, batik and shibori. These artistic experiences were a welcome change after studying for a rigorous science degree.

While teaching elementary school in 2008 I swapped art journals weekly with a creative friend and became hooked into the expansive world of art journaling. I still love swapping and collaborating with other artists and have made several friends on Instagram continuing this creative path.

In three words, how does art-making make you feel?

Expansive, free and delighted.

Thank you Jill for sharing your unique artwork and your story with us!

Be sure to check out all our Nice to Meet You! posts to learn about all the inspiring artists we’ve featured.

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