Hey everyone! I am still fundraising for Atlantic Impact’s Abroad for a Cause Challenge in which the organization is inviting two bloggers to travel with them to Barbados this summer. Atlantic Impact is an organization that helps at risk youth by giving them opportunities to travel abroad. Please donate and/or share; I have until June 9th to raise all the money.
Today’s artist that I am featuring is self-taught Barbadian artist Jill McIntyre. Her joyfully colorful and vibrant artwork is filled with fantastical sea and nature-related imagery, combining this imagery “with mythology – mermaids (la sirene), dragons, sea monsters, a phoenix or two – and she is intrigued by the use of symbolism in art.” She says, ““I never paint to record life exactly as it is, I paint snapshots of my imagination. I like being able to rearrange reality and create my own little alternative world.” As for why the sea inspires her, McIntyre expresses, “for me the sea has always been associated with beauty, romance, mystery, fantasy, fun and adventure. In my mind, water has always symbolised life… an element with cleansing, renewing, refreshing, and healing power. I’m an optimist. I choose to imagine the depths of the ocean as filled with mythical creatures of beauty rather than mythical monsters of destruction.”
McIntyre purpose of her painting style is to remind viewers that “we should appreciate this gift of life; that we should dream and imagine, and believe anything is possible; that we should magnify what is good and positive. My paintings are windows to my soul; I paint to celebrate life. I want my work to express my joy in being alive, and to share my love of the Caribbean mystique. Essentially, I want my art to inspire viewers, my message is simple: ‘Smile, laugh, dream, live!'”