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Jilly Ballantyne was born in Scotland and graduated with a BA in arts from Gray’s School of Art in 1989. She moved to the Cote d’Azur in the mid nineties, where she painted and taught art whist hosting painting holidays in Henri Matisse’s former villa in Vence which inspired her work.
During the winter, Jilly was granted Artist in Residence status at Matisse’s former studios and on her own in all those quiet rooms she had a lot of time to reflect on the life Matisse must have led, making a big impact on Jilly, both personally and within her work. Whilst there, she also took part in the BBC 1’s Modern Masters Series on Matisse.
After 18 years, she moved permanently to Cornwall where she now paints mainly still life interiors and ‘roomscapes’ – which, for her, contain clues to the person who inhabits that space – and also teaches art to locals and visitors.