Interview: Jill Jeffrey

Unison Colour were proud to be able to sponsor a number of awards at this year’s Pastel Society Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The artists had made it especially difficult for us to choose who should be awarded with the Unison Colour prizes. In the end we chose Jill Jeffrey (Member Award), Alison Berrett (Non-Member Award) and Toni Frostick (Young Artist Award). They kindly gave up some of their time to answer our questions, which will give you an insight into each artist.

First up we have Jill Jeffrey

1. When did you discover your love of art?

When I was about 10.


2. What were your earliest influences?

As a lover of horses at that age it was Stubbs, Skeaping & Degas.


3. What led you to using pastels?

At Art College & after I had painted in watercolour as well as oil in with a limited palette of colour. When I was painting with John Blockley in 1993, he advised me to ‘brighten up’ and handed me an emerald green Unison pastel and I have never looked back!


4. What is your favourite subject to paint?

Wild landscapes and trees.


5. Who inspires you?

Andrew Wyeth and David Tress.


6. What was the first painting that you were happy to complete?

Never happened yet!


7. Do you have a routine when you begin a painting?

I always start with a sketchbook. Select a drawing that holds interest. Do some small roughs in colour to work out composition, tones, where light comes from and what sort of mood I want to portray.


8. What time of day do you like to paint?



9. What plans do you have in the pipeline?

March: Farnham, Late Spring Workshop in Wales then looking at new galleries.


10. How did you feel when you won the Unison Colour prize?

Absolutely delighted!


11. Do you have any hints and tips for anyone who is beginning with pastels?

Buy some Unison pastels that you really love and have a play! Try drawing with the pastel on its edge, side swipes for swathes of colour, smudge, wet them, mix colours on paper… just let go!


12. Anything else that you would like to add?

The Unison Colour Landscape box that I was lucky enough to win last year is totally wonderful.


Thanks to Jill for taking the time to answer our questions.  You can see more of her work on her website –

The second interview in this series will be available to read in our blog section tomorrow: Wednesday 27th Feb.

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