Experience Cortland regularly features Cortland County artists at the Visitors Center throughout the year. The Artist Spotlight program was developed to showcase local art to travelers and locals alike in hopes that they might bring a piece of Cortland County home. Feel free to stop by during regular business hours to view Jill Kraft's work or at her website EarthandAirWellness.com.
Jill Kraft has always wanted to be an artist, and these days, she proudly wears many hats in the field. Her business, Earth & Air Wellness LLC, hosts art sessions through paint-n-sips, private groups, and one on one. Jill specializes in working with clients that are developmentally disabled. She also shows her work throughout upstate New York and is always creating. Her passion is oil painting. However, Jill also spends countless hours experimenting with watercolor and photography. We asked Jill to take a few minutes from her busy schedule to share a little bit about her creative process.
Where do you take your inspiration from? Nature. I love the outdoors. From the streams to the mountains, I can't seem to get enough of the great outdoors. I am a landscaper at heart, and my work always flows in that direction.
Where do you create your art? I have a home studio for my oil painting and a workshop in downtown cortland where I meet clients, host paint-n-sip parties, and work on all the items that I bring to vendor shows.
Who is your greatest influence? I am not sure if I was influenced by just one person, I draw from many things. I learn more about my own style and ways as I go and pull from people who are on similar paths. With that said, french impressionism has been the movement that I feel I resonate most with. I am drawn to color, for sure!
What is your favorite tool/material? What can you just not live without in your creative space? I have been very successful selling my smaller alcohol ink and watercolor works, but deep down, there is nothing better than the feeling of oil paint gliding across the canvas.
What is your favorite color? It's unfair to pick just one! But it has been orange for as long as I remember.
What are your current/future projects? I am currently working on some larger landscape paintings based on a recent trip to Scotland. I may be doing these for the next 20 years- the landscape there was enchanting!
If your art was a food, what would it be? A homecooked meal that provides hearty nutrition for the mind. Like a hearty soup that wraps you up and feels like home.
What is your favorite season in Cortland County? I love the fall colors, of course, but also the crisp air slowly creeping in while the ground produces the last of the harvest to prepare for winter. Fall has a special charm and smell that is unique to this area.
What do you feel is Cortland County’s best-kept secret? I love all the walking trails and hikes. I am relatively new to the area and have found many what seems like hidden gems to explore. My boyfriend and I love to explore the woods, and we can always find a new place to adventure to.
Describe Cortland County in three words. Real country living!
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