Wednesday, Dec 13, 2017
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Author: Cristen Conger

Date: 02.10.2006
 
Jill Leite brings Athens' architecture - both new and old - to life.
 
Leite, a local artist who specializes in landscape and architecture rendering, has lived more than 30 years in the city and has recreated some of the most iconic sites of Athens in her picturesque water colors that capture the beauty of the area. She has been enchanted by art since kindergarten when she first spread paint across large sheets of paper. Her style has evolved over the years, from looser, free-form pieces during her time at the University of Georgia' art school, to the tighter, photorealistic landscape and architecture pieces she's known for.
 
Originally from Greenville, Leite came to Athens to attend the University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art in painting. She quickly became comfortable in the city and drawn to its rich culture and vibrant community. Now, the mother of two and longtime eastside resident, Leite focuses on her commercial work that can be seen dotted around town in homes, businesses and particularly across the University campus.
 
Her extensive series of University water colors and prints of parts of the University campus such as the Arch, Terry College of Business
and the Chapel have been some of her most popular works. But while painting still objects might seem simple to some, translating architecture and landscape to an artistic form is challenging. “I don't just go out and paint a pretty picture,” she said. When starting a piece, Leite begins by taking numerous pictures of buildings from various angles at different times of day. From there, she must work around visual obstructions such as dumpsters, stair rails or cable lines and recreate the landscape, down to genus and species. “The hardest part is getting started,” she said, noting the difficulty of visualizing the architecture in its pure form, free of distracting elements but adding shadows and three-dimensional perspective to make the subject pop out of the frame. Leite's bright personality is reflected in her work and the intricate detailing she adds to bring life to the paintings. It is Jill’s work that is on the cover of this issue of Business Athens, a gift to the Chamber from outgoing Board Chair, Annette Nelson.
 
More of Ms Leite’s work can be seen at www.jillleitestudio.com.