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​Jill Ansell is a West Australian artist and high school teacher. She is a finalist in the 2024 and 2023 Archibald Prize and the 2023 Portia Geach Memorial Award. Jill has twice been a finalist in the Lester Portrait Prize (formerly Black Swan Award) and a finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize. She is the recipient of many Art Awards including the BankWest Open Art Award, York Art Award, Victoria Park Art Award, the Town of Cambridge Art Award, and the Town of Vincent Art Award. Her work is held in public and private collections, both nationally and internationally.


Jill works across a wide range of subjects from the local beach to surreal desert landscapes, but her favourite subject is the portrait. Her portraits typically engage the viewer with their humour and warm humanity. Her work in assemblage carefully weaves real objects and portrait together into an intriguing glimpse into the intimate world of the subject.


Jill considers commissions on a very limited basis from the extremely patient.


"Jill explores West Australian life and history and enjoys combining the real and the imagined to allow a narrative to unfurl.


Stories are often conjured from found objects and paintings are peopled by the odd and obscure. Her work engages the viewer with humour and warm humanity."


In My Words

“I am a Western Australian figurative artist and work across a wide range of subjects from desert landscapes to portraits. I often take inspiration from inland Western Australia and West Australian stories, people and history. I like to suggest a narrative in my work.


I love sketching the initial idea and then seeing it completed in paint. When I am painting I am immersed in the scene I am creating. I don’t think of the things I put in the painting as shapes, but as real things. It is like an extreme form of daydreaming where I get to place the characters and scenery as I choose. There is often a narrative element to my painting and I am in the story while I am painting it.

Usually, I get an idea for a painting, sketch it before I can forget it, and then collect supporting material for the idea (photos, sketches objects, etc.). I then work up a composition I am happy with and loosely sketch it up on the canvas. Sometimes I will diverge from the original vision as another idea seems better, but most often the work is close to the original sketch. For portraits, I want to capture something that expresses something intrinsic to the subject. I often work in assemblage and enjoy combining portraits with objects in a unified composition.


My work often explores themes of loneliness, isolation, and perseverance. Occasionally I will create a work as a social comment. I also like to capture that perfect happy still moment – this is typical of my dog beach paintings. I paint a wide variety of subject matter as so many things are interesting."

In My Words


2024   Finalist Archibald Prize


2023   Finalist Archibald Prize


2023   Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Award


2023   Finalist Collie Art Prize

2021   Finalist Moran Portrait Prize

2020   Finalist Lester Prize


2019   Winner: York Art Award (Overall Theme)


2013   Winner: Victoria Park Art Award

           Winner: York Art Award

           Winner: York Art Award (Sculpture)

2012   Semi-finalist: Doug Moran Portrait Prize


2011   Finalist: Black Swan Portrait Award


2009   Winner: York Art & Craft Award


2006   Winner: BankWest Open Art Award,                Perth Royal Show

           Winner: Victoria Park Art Award 


2005   Winner: Town of Cambridge Art Award

           Winner Viewers’ Choice: York Art

2003   Winner: Town of Vincent Art Award


1999   Winner: Victoria Park Art Award 2D

Weekend Walk.jpg


​​​I am fortunate enough to know a number of wonderful artists. Below are some links to their web pages. Explore - it will be worth the journey!


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