Jill Slaymaker

Artist Statement

I’m intrigued by complex worlds that exist within each other.  My oil, gouache, metal leaf and India ink paintings, and book art pieces, depict otherworldly environments, often inhabited by a lone figure lost in a chaotic world.

Nature-based patterns and shapes float in vast skies and landscapes, or are deeply immersed in foliage, partly hidden and viewed in close-up, in a kind of macro/micro cosmos.  By combining disparate “puzzle piece” images from sketchbooks, travel photos and found sources, I try to confirm the idea from Western physics and Eastern philosophy that all phenomena are interconnected and interdependent.

I find Fritjof Capra’s writings on chaos theory especially fascinating.  He explains that due to advanced computer technology, movement in nature previously thought to be random or “chaotic,” such as clouds and fire, are actually measurable, with almost identical mathematical patterns.

The idea of order in nature is comforting, in our overwhelming digital age.  And yet, it’s pretty clear that the natural world is an infinitely unsolvable mystery, not to be fully comprehended by even the most brilliant scientific minds.

My orange tree series was triggered by a trip to Rome in 2006, where I became ill, and then quickly healed while painting under a 900-year-old bitter orange tree still bearing fruit.  I include it in most of my work, as a symbol of rejuvenation and hope.  

More recently, in 2018-2019, I was able to travel to the South Pacific, where my husband and I gave talks on art and music.  The incredible natural beauty there, combined with a tragic history of genocide of indigenous people and disappearing animal habitats, affected me.  My next project is an immersive installation that includes paintings, puppets, light, shadows and sound, in a “magical realist” tropical forest.

web

gouache, watercolor, ink on paper
12" x 9"

$450

poem on a cloudy day

oil on paper
12" x 9"

$450

oahu tree

gouache and india ink on paper
15" x 11"

$550

hiraeth

gouache, ink, acrylic on paper
12" x 9"

$450

song of nature

gouache and watercolor on paper
12" x 9"

$450

foolish prick

oil and ink on paper
12" x 9"

$450

secret of secrets

gouache and watercolor on paper
12" x 9"

$450

even in paradise

gouache on paper
15" x 11"

$550

savor this moment

gouache and watercolor on paper
12" x 9"

$450

sanctuary

gouache and india ink on paper
15" x 11"

$550

caretaker

watercolor, pastel pencil, gouache, acrylic, white charcoal and photo on paper
15" x 11"

$550

survivalists #2

gouache, watercolor, ink on paper
12" x 9"

$450

three moons

india ink on paper
15" x 11"

$450

disentangled

oil and acrylic on wood
24" x 18"

$1400

illustrating my hallucinations

oil, acrylic and India ink on wood
24" x 18"

$1400

alone time

oil, ink and acrylic on canvas
20" x 15.5"

$1200

mostly bad ideas

ink on paper (index cards) mounted on wood
42" x 36"

$1800

pond

oil, acrylic, ink on canvas
70" x 70"

$5000

joyful moment in this strange life

oil, acrylic, ink and paper on canvas
70 x 70

$5000

alajuela

oil on canvas
30.5" x 54"

$3800