Jill McVarish grew up in the Sacramento Valley of CA, happily ensconced in an artistic family. Her father, a professional illustrator, encouraged her inventive nature and fostered her early creative talents. Growing up in the agricultural region in the 1970s left an aesthetic mark on the artist. She recalls fond memories of her mother straining amber coloured honey from bee's wax, under a sunset that seemed stained yellow from mustard pollen in the air from the surrounding fields.
Jill received a BFA in 1993 from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she was further introduced to the world of art, not only through the curriculum, but also the exchange of energy and ideas with fellow artists. She continued her academic pursuits abroad at the prestigious Garett Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, which was founded by the architect and furniture designer, renowned as one of the forefathers of modernism. While in Holland, she studied the Dutch masters and often visited Rijkesmuseum to explore the Vermeers, Holbeins, Rembrants, and others first hand. McVarish now reflects on that time as definitive in the formation of her style, blending her acknowledgment of contemporary and more absurdist art with a reverence for traditional painting and visual composition.
Back on the west coast after graduation and faced with the need to continue painting and support herself, Jill fell into a twelve year career painting under psudonymes for commercial art distributors. This paint-to-order method of working provided a great opportunity to test and hone her technical skills for a dozen years anonymously, before emerging in 2013, ready to finally create her own work as professional artist in her own right, in her own, unique voice.