Western painter Jill Soukup grew up near Denver, Colorado, where she still lives. Her mother, who had an affection for abandoned pets, and her father, a veterinarian, encouraged her artistic tendencies. As a young girl, Soukup loved horses and sketched obsessively. As a teen, she began a pet-portrait business, sketching animals in chalk pastel.
After graduating from Colorado State University, Soukup worked as an illustrator for about a decade, painting part-time. While taking classes with Artist Quang Ho at the Art Students League, Soukup joined other students for a group exhibition at Denver’s Abend Gallery. At her first gallery show, Soukup sold three of her four paintings; shortly after, she shifted to a successful fine art career.
Soukup’s paintings of the West—horses, bison, architectural images—have dynamic energy and uncommon compositions. “The intent of my work is to capture the balance that exists at the intersection of opposite elements, and to expose underlying similarities in things that are perceived to be fundamentally different,” says Soukup. Her original paintings have earned multiple awards, including an Oil Painters of America Award of Excellence, and the the People’s Choice Award at the Coors Western Art Exhibit & Sale.