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Jilly Ballantyne

Jilly Ballantyne BA (Hons) is a contemporary painter.

Born in Scotland in 1967, she graduated from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen in 1989. In 1994 she moved to the Cote d’Azur, France, where she painted and taught art, hosting summer painting holidays in Henri Matisse’s former villa in Venice. Over the winter months she was lucky enough to be granted Artist in Residence status to work on her own paintings in Matisse’s former studios. It was here, she took part in the BBC 1, Modern Masters Series on Matisse, with Alistair Sooke.

Jilly left the South of France after 18 years, choosing Cornwall, where she painted from her studio for 8 years. Recently, in 2020 Jilly has come full circle and made her home back in Fife where she grew up. Her studio is in Cellardyke on the East Neuk of Fife, a mere stone’s throw from the Firth of Forth.


Jilly paints mainly still life, interiors and ‘roomscapes,’ These are almost portraits, as they contain clues to the person who inhabits that space. Her most popular work features tranquil scenes, viewed through open windows with contrasting light, the aim being to create that feeling you would have, if you were standing in front of an open sunny, seaside window. ‘Some artist’s paint their inner turmoil, I try to achieve the opposite and convey the serenity and brightness I want to feel more of’

Since moving back to Fife and walking the coastal path during lockdown, landscape paintings have featured more than interiors, in an attempt to bring the outdoors and the east coast sunrise, inside.

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