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Welcome to my blog


I am a visual artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I incorporate my own poetry into my artwork, sometimes collaging it into pieces, sometimes writing about paintings and sometimes inspiring paintings.

By jillashforth, Mar 29 2020 03:57PM

In the light of recent developments with coronavirus affecting so many businesses I sincerely hope my plans to exhibit at the Dundas Street Gallery in July 2021 with a show called Words and Images: Making my Mark comes to fruition. I hope to combine work I made with my art therapist along with pieces I made in response to sessions with counselling clients as well as some of my paintings and photographs which inspired poetry. In addition, I will feature work from a series combining words and images about the sea of life where emotions are depicted in colour, line and text. Here are two pieces, works in progress, entitled "Birth" and "Death and Parting".

By jillashforth, Nov 15 2019 05:27PM

I have written some descriptions to sit alongside some of my dawn paintings. I envisage the three paintings

being displayed together in my next show, Words and Images: Making My Mark, creating a wall of colour and light.


Day 1

Cool, silver tinges of mist glisten in the dawn as the city awakens. Hints of cerulean blue suggest what is yet to come. The sun gathers itself and gets ready to warm the earth below.

Another day has begun.

Day 2

Dawn greets the world with a burgeoning of ochre and lemon yellow light that blushes warmly. The land is bathed in a dewy mist and landmarks emerge in bold boulders of emerald green, crimson and turquoise blue.

Day 3

Cerulean blue meets cerulean blue with a horizon that stretches endlessly. Slithers of land divide sky and sea, slicing the world into sections that shimmer and glow, iridescent in the dawn light.

By jillashforth, Sep 30 2019 03:07PM

Some months ago I created pieces at a workshop which were inspired by The Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams. The leader of the workshop wondered if I had made images that represented something I needed. Later, I made them into triptychs which I called Serenity I and II. This was at a time when my elderly mother was ill in hospital. Perhaps I had indeed needed some seas of serentiy.

I have planned some themes around which I'd like to create some abstract images punctuated with words. They are the colours of balance, of life and love, of birth, of betrayal, of grief, and of parting and death.

I have been reading a book called Snow by Marcus Sedgwick. A section on art described snow as a metaphor for isolation and death. It made me compare my art when I was ill with other periods. When I was depressed it was very pale with lots of white added to the few colours I used. More recently I have used silver which is for me the colour of hope in the same way that once I mixed every colour with white. I think of that time when I was ill as one of isolation and loneliness. Today even when I am alone, my partner is with me in my heart. I am never alone because his love holds me. I made an image recently at my counsellor of a sea of blue. This is the middle ground for me where I am neither depressed or manic. I feel I'm ready to paint my seas of blue tranquility with silver mists of hope. At last, thanks to love, acceptance and understanding.

My new work is going to be landscapes of emotions depicted with colour and line, making marks that tell a story full of feeling and punctuated with words. It's a theme I've returned to several times since art college days: words and images.

By jillashforth, Feb 28 2019 01:15PM

In the summer of 2018 I attended a concert of Vaughan Willams Sea Symphony at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. It was mesmerising. I realised then that I wanted my next series of paintings to be inspired by this piece of music and poetry. My next subject would be the sea.

Here are my first attempts, Serenity 1 and 2. These triptychs represent what I needed at a difficult time in my life as my elderly mother lay seriously ill in hospital.

By jillashforth, Aug 13 2018 11:29PM

For the first time I recited some of my own poetry in public at the private view of my exhibition, Reflections. It was a great night with a good turn out for the opening and I was excited to be making my new video public with a live performance of the piece.

The text is made up of the words from two of my poems, Dawn and Dusk. The words appear in white, ephemeral on the screen, and disappear into the cloud quickly. One stares at the clouds and then, just as fast as the letters form, they vanish into the light sky.

The poem Dawn was inspired by a memory of watching the dawn unfold in the bay window of my flat one summer morning. I had stood with my face pressed against the pane, watching the sky change for over an hour. It had been mesmerising. The poem Dusk was inspired by a walk in Inverleith Park along an avenue of trees just as the light was failing one winter day. The two poems represent polar opposites, which fascinate me. They are about beginnings and endings, something which my life has been full of recently.

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