Jennifer Polillo

​Drawing, acrylics/gouache, and oils

Jennifer Polillo has a Certificate of Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and BFA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has received numerous awards including the Linda Lee Alter award and Historic Yellow Springs award for Landscape painting, the Juror's award for excellence at The Rehoboth Art League's 3rd Biennial Juried Exhibition, and most recently took First and Second place in New York Center for Photographic Art International Call for Entry, SEASONS.

Jennifer has taught various ages and abilities in public and private institutions for over 15 years and is regularly a contract teaching artist for the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Brandywine River Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Newark Art Alliance, and Cecil County Community College.

Artistic statement

I have always known that I wanted to be an artist, even as a young child. Ever since my first crayon masterpiece, the act of creating has had me captivated and is as necessary to sustaining my life as breathing. 

During my studies, I began taking on commission work as well as found my love for teaching. As a commission portrait artist, there is something magical for me about the moment a painting takes on a life of its own, when I'm looking into eyes staring back at me. A second extraordinary thing happens when the buyer relates to the work on a deeply personal level. That's the point where my life experiences, my subject, and the viewer cross paths, converging in the painting. As an art instructor, I am constantly reminded of my love for the process of creating, and watching my students discover their hidden talents excites and continuously motivates me. 

My personal painting style is deeply rooted in the classical realist tradition of the European Academy. I have a true love of painting from life and en plein air, as I am inspired by the subtle nuances and impressionist ideals of color, light, and atmosphere. Recently, I have been building upon my classical foundation and experimenting with more contemporary ideas and media to create an implied narrative infused with elements of psychology, surrealist imagery, and pushing impressionist ideals. The diverse subject matter in my work, which is comprised of landscape, the human figure, and still life, is unified by my commitment to the exploration of composition, color, and light.

Jennifer’s course goals

While painting on location with Jennifer, she creates a relaxed and fun learning environment. Students learn how to carefully observe their surroundings and then translate what they see into the language of paint. She will guide both beginners and more seasoned painters to deepen their understanding of colour, value, clarity, and composition through the process of working en plein air.