Artist of the Week: Jill Poyerd, Seeing Landscape as a Portrait

To Jill Poyerd, our Artist of the Week, a tree is like a person.

Within her beautifully and masterfully rendered landscapes she typically will set a tree as a focal point and paints as if it were a formal portrait.

“A tree’s character could consist of interestingly gnarled branches, massive trunks with long-ago broken branches, a unique overall shape, or perhaps the way it’s situated,” she says.

She honors the personalities and timeworn experiences of each tree subject.  

“Some look as though they are clinging to life while others show the marks of trauma from the works of nature.”

Autumn Grandeur

Poyerd strikes a balance in her artistic thought. She combines a “creative, loose, and artistic” energy with an “analytical, orderly, and detailed” energy to produce a dynamic of detail.

Her paintings reflect this governing equilibrium. While certain points in the composition are abstract and minimal – what Poyerd calls, “really, just creative lines” – other aspects of the composition are realistic and detailed.  

Watercolor, despite its unassuming name and a youthful associations, has somewhat of an unruly, unforgiving reputation where, “if you make a mistake you often can’t recover.”

Poyerd loves the challenge of watercolor – especially, the unexpected challenges.

“Sometimes people’s first impression when they hear the word ‘watercolor’ is the little paints we all used in elementary school. I love opening people’s minds to the fact that there is a whole other side to the medium,” she says.

Backcountry Glade

She works from a beautiful, roomy studio in her home; To, Poyerd a feeling creates a space.

The space – a place of both industry and creativity – is neat, but not too neat. She typically works on several projects at a time, setting up various individual stations for oil paintings and watercolor about the room.

So, at any point in time, Poyerd’s studio is an evolutionary vision of the unfolding steps of her creative process.

Music – typically, classical or new age – is always playing while she works.

“I sometimes wonder if musicians know how much their music influences and helps inspire visual artists,” she says.

To Poyerd, music invigorates the feelings of life.

Aside from her painting, she must fulfill the hungry “non-creative side” of her brain through technical activities. From her unique standpoint of artistic and technological literacy, she has created art appreciation videos and written books that instruct artist on technology.


See more of Jill E. Poyerd’s work on UGallery.