Born in Wellington, Jill shifted to the North Shore in Auckland with her parents when she was a small child. One of Jill’s earliest recollections was being fascinated by how the light changed the colour of the sea according to the mood of the day. Growing up in a coastal environment, consciously or unconsciously, light, colour and mood were often the focus of Jill’s attention.
It wasn’t until Jill was in high school that she was introduced to drawing and painting by an inspiring art teacher. This provided an outlet for her sense of expression and became a turning point in her life. She went on to attend Elam School of Fine Arts graduating with a Diploma of Fine Arts in Painting and Art History. A further diploma in Secondary Teaching at the Auckland College of Education provided Jill with a career as a Visual Arts Educator teaching in secondary schools for 30 plus years. During her career Jill contributed to both curriculum and assessment development in the visual arts at the national level.
Later, Jill became Head of Arts at Massey University, researching visual arts literature and successfully completing a Master of Philosophy in Education. Ms. Brandon has not only taught and written about the visual arts but continues to be actively engaged in the art-making process utilizing various mediums and has exhibited land and seascapes in many group and solo exhibitions throughout New Zealand.
Retirement in 2007 provided Jill with the opportunity to focus on her passion of oil painting. ‘’The forces of nature as observed in the environment have always been my constant inspiration as a painter. I prefer to harmonize with the environment, seeking out a relationship between the existing characteristics of a chosen site.” Jill believes that water plays an important role across the landscape. “When it is present the country comes to life usually creating lush flora. When it is not present the colours change to earthy browns and sunburnt golds. During times of the day as the sun moves across the sky, the colours change with the light intensity. These daytime and seasonal changes in landscape influence my colour palette and subject matter’’.