I have been a practicing Artist and Designer for over 25 years. I was born in Sheffield and returned to live here in my twenties. I trained first in fine art then followed a career as a Landscape Architect until 2012 when I launched Jill Ray Landscapes to combine my design and fine art skills.
Foundation at St Albans School of Art from 1974-5, where I spent most of my time in the life room with Quentin Crisp as a frequent model.
This was followed by 3 years at Falmouth School of Art resulting in a BA Hons Fine Art (Painting) in 1978 and a growing interest in landscape subjects.
As a student I exhibited at the RA in the annual Stowells Trophy exhibition, Newlyn Gallery and at Harlow Library.
A growing interest in the landscape lead to a change of direction and I graduated from Sheffield University in 1985 as a Landscape Architect. I have been a member of the Landscape Institute for over 25 years, during which time I worked for Sheffield City Council from 1986 until March 2012.
Amongst many other projects I was the lead designer for the Town Hall Square which is a part of the award winning Heart of the City Millennium project.
During this period I also undertook many private garden design commissions, for the love of it!
I paint in oils on canvas and I create prints digitally. I developed my print technique whilst practicing as a Landscape Architect, providing clear, accessible images for consultation events which could be quickly updated as projects developed. I discovered what a great drawing tool my PC was. I really love the way layers of translucent blocks of colour can build up an image.
My passion for making images this way combined with a rekindling of my previous love of painting in oils on canvas and I really enjoy exploring both old and new technology in the development of my work. I often use an iPad as a portable sketchbook as well as using photographic references.
My main concerns are colour, light and the rhythms of landscape. I am fascinated by the way similar shapes and patterns echo and repeat in the landscape as can be seen in both the striking and bold style of my prints (which often resemble the effects of overlaid layers of tissue paper) and in a more subtle and textural exploration in my paintings.
The hills of the Dark Peak and the woodlands in Sheffield provide most of my subject matter with occasional forays to the coast.
Jill recently had a one-person exhibition at the Harley Gallery at Welbeck in North Nottinghamshire. She also recently won a commission for artwork for the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield where her work can be seen on the Huntsman Wing.
Jill regularly exhibits with the Premier Artists at Sheffield’s ‘Art in the Gardens’ and takes part in ‘Open up Sheffield’ and the ‘Great Dome Art Fair’ in Buxton as well as showing at several print and craft fairs throughout the year. She also exhibits annually at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate (trade only).
She is a member of both Peak District Artisans and Sheffield Printmakers.
Jill is developing a loyal following and her prints are becoming collectible. They are available through many Galleries in Yorkshire and the Peak District as well as countrywide and more recently in the US and Europe (Please contact for an up to date list).
Using my skills as a Landscape Architect, I have designed many private gardens over the last 25 years. I love the intimate scale of private gardens where every square metre is important to my clients, contrasting with the larger scale work my day job used to bring.
I work very closely with my clients to achieve unique and special designs, creating gardens which are both inspired and practical.