1985-1988 : Early shows
Jill’s father, James Lee Steenhuis, filled Jill’s growing up years with foxhunting, horses, social life, and gave her the wings to follow her path as an artist. In the early 80’s when Jill would go back to Atlanta to visit from France, she would bring her recent work along with her to show her father and his friends. His longtime friend, AJ Land, loved Jill’s work and encouraged her to have her first show at the opening of his new office building at Cumberland Center. Six months pregnant, she journeyed back to Atlanta for her first US show in AJ’s new building and sold 24 paintings. The very first painting Jill sold at this art show was to her mother’s close friend, Martha Wayt. Jill went on to have several other art shows in the real estate offices of her father’s friends until she signed with her first agent, Gail King, in 1988. All of a sudden a new hope came that maybe the starving artist days that Jill had embraced and accepted as part of the choice she had made to be a full time artist were not going to be a permanent way of life.
For more on the “40 Years in France Series,” follow along with Jill from the start as she celebrates her 40th year of living in Provence (click here).
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