Jill Stefani Wagner PSA-MP IAPS/MC was born in Port Huron, Michigan. She received a B.F.A. from The University of Michigan School of Art and was the owner and creative director of an award-winning advertising firm in Ann Arbor, before "seeing the light" and becoming a full-time artist. Recently Jill was awarded Master Circle status in the International Association of Pastel Societies. A Master Pastelist in the Pastel Society of America, she also belongs to Degas Pastel Society, Great Lakes Pastel Society, Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association and Ann Arbor Women Artists. She has mounted solo exhibitions at The University of Michigan, The University of Michigan Health System, The River Gallery, Monroe Community College, and Pfizer Corporate Headquarters. She teaches art workshops around the country and has been invited faculty at the Plein Air Convention in 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Her oil and pastel paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and are included in various corporate and private collections. Twelve of Jill’s paintings have been accepted into the prestigious International Association of Pastel Societies Exhibits and she has been honored with multiple awards in the Pastel Society of America. The Pastel Society of North Florida recently honored Jill with Best of Show Award in their National Exhibit. Pastel Journal Magazine has awarded her five Honorable Mentions in their Pastel 100 Shows and she has been juried into and recognized in multiple national competitions over the years. In 2016 Jill's painting appeared on the cover of Plein Air Magazine and is often featured in that publication as well as Fine Art Connoisseur. Pastel Journal has included her pastel paintings in multiple articles and the best-selling French magazine, Practique des Arts, has also highlighted her pastel “skyscapes.”
“Whether painting landscapes, interiors or figures, my primary focus is always the ‘light’ and how it affects the subject I’m trying to capture. Working in pastel and oil I approach my paintings as a sculptor would, carving out nuances of highlight and shadow. An avid plein air artist, I’m inspired by the American landscape and that of my beloved Italy. I find my greatest joy painting on location, taking in the atmosphere, temperature, sounds and smells, as well as the view. I participate in national plein air festivals, traveling throughout the country to capture the uniqueness of each venue. During the cold Michigan winters I work in my studio creating larger pieces…but always, always chasing the light.”