About the Artist
Artist Jill Richardson was born in the same town as Waltzing Matilda nine months after a 100 year flood. It is fair to say the bush has influenced her from an early age. Raised on a sheep and cattle station in Central Western Queensland, Jill completed her primary schooling by correspondence. The only drawback being her teachers used to return her artwork with comments to the effect that her mum should think twice about submitting work on her daughter’s behalf; she was that good, and from a young age produced some amazing works.
As soon as she entered high school her artistic talents were quickly recognised and nurtured. While at boarding school an excellent art department encouraged Jill's talent and she was accepted at the Queensland College of Art. Drawing with pastels and graphite was clearly her preferred medium she excelled in sculpture, screen printing and a range of other mediums. Notably Jill had a knack for producing caricatures and cartoons of people and popular events showing off her artistic talents complemented by her great sense of humour.
The third of four daughters, family and animals were always the centre of Jill’s early life. Like most childhoods spent in the bush, hers was one filled many joys and also the lows of drought and flood. Over the years there have been many special pets, horses and poddy sheep and calves that have touched her life and influenced her depiction of animals.
In every portrait there is the soul of one of those animals. Capturing the personality of a much loved pet, a noble horse, a wise old cow, is a much more than drawing on a page. It is a rare talent to capture a kind eye, a tired body, a wise old face of salt and pepper on black muzzle. It is an exceptional skill that Jill Richardson has made her own.
Jill and her husband Richo currently reside in western Victoria on their family sheep and cropping farm with their four children. She is still surrounded and inspired by the animals she loves.
THE ARTIST & HER HORSE
People have a bad habit of naming horses when they are born; a name that reflects what they want that horse to be. In reality there are horses that are named “Zorro” that as a mature horse should really be called “Bert”. A horse name “Pegasus” that can’t jump a twig, or a Shetland named “Bubbles” when “Satan” would have been more appropriate.
The exception to the rule is “Caligula” by the great “Hail Caesar” out of a special mare “Katie’s Lass” affectionately known as “Kitty”… bred to gallop but destined for so much more.
He was as proud as he was arrogant. He was noble but kind, too smart for his own good, and stronger than the rider who loved him.
In his lifetime he saw the little girl who loved him through droughts, flooding rain, marriage and children. His legacy remained the link between her old life and the new. Very rarely does this artist paint her own animals… but this is her horse.
Jill Barber Richardson is an artist specialising in animal portraiture on a magnificent scale. She grew up in central western Queensland on a sheep station where “Liggy” was born.
She now resides with her husband and four children on their farm in Western Victoria where her mighty horse moved with her and now rests forever under an oak tree.