Smudged, Fragmented Paintings by Jillian McGillivray
Jillian McGillivray makes smudged, fragmented paintings of everyday scenes. The artist’s particular treatment of her subject matter suggests half-forgotten dreams or partial memories.
I enjoy the bright assortment of colours that appear in each of Jillian’s paintings. While at first glance they seem bright and varied as to be almost gaudy, given a closer look I find that the colours function as an added bit of distortion, like seeing each scene through a window that’s covered in raindrops. In oil, each painting is an exquisite combination of hard lines separating blocks of distinct colour, and soft, blending waves of different hues.
As Jillian says in her artist statement, painting can be a way of slowing down the viewing process, forcing the viewer to take time to contemplate an image. In these works, after looking for a while, the line between figurative work and abstraction seems to blur, giving me the unique experience of looking at an apparently abstract work, but knowing exactly what its subject is.