Jill Mahanna graduated from Duke University with degrees in fine art and art history. She lived a number of years in Durham, NC, working as a book designer and painting and drawing the figure. In 1992, she packed her pencils and paintbrushes into a 1963 VW bus and hit the road. Accompanied by her dog and her partner, she immersed herself in the beauty of this country for a full—and fulfilling—year. Lured to the Sierra foothills in northern California, Jill became enamored of the gorgeous landscape and the vibrant community, and decided to put down roots. She worked with Oliver Jackson at Sacramento State for six years and her focus shifted from the figure to landscape.
“Surrounded by the foothills of the Sierras and the Yuba River, I was moved, actually driven, to paint what I saw. The sensuality of the natural world is my inspiration. For me, the challenge is to make a painting that resonates with a similar intensity.”
Now, many years and two children later, she continues to be captivated and motivated by the landscape around her. Jill exhibits her paintings primarily in Northern California and Nevada. Her work may be found in private collections across the U.S. and Canada.