Jill Stefani Wagner working on an oil painting in her “RiverStone” Series in her studio

How did you develop your style?
Jill Stefani Wagner: When I started painting again after 25 years of running my advertising agency, I was fixated on having my own “style,” but had no idea how to accomplish it. My mentor told me not to worry about that saying, “your style will come to you as you continue to paint.” She suggested that I paint one subject that I really loved 25 times.

I chose to paint river stones and learned to capture that subject well. I also discovered that I didn’t have to put “everything” in one painting, because I could explore other ideas in the next piece. Her advice started me on a life-long path of creating works in a series which I still do to this very day.

What is the best part of being an artist?
Jill Stefani Wagner: I love the pure joy of creating in pastel and oil. Yes, there’s lots of marketing, and traveling, and dealing with galleries and exhibitions and festivals and workshops and…. But I wake up every morning in total gratitude thinking “I get to paint today!”

To see more of Jill’s work, visit:

oil painting road surrounded by trees and lighting shining through
Jill Stefani Wagner, “Taking the High Road,” oil on linen, 12 x 16 in., 2021. Available at Castle Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN
oil painting of lilies in a pond; sun shining on them
Jill Stefani Wagner, “Still Waters,” pastel on board, 24 x 20 in., 2021. Available at J. Petter Galleries, Douglas, MI


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