jill mcelmurry




Jill McElmurry (b. Los Angeles, 1954; d. Taos, 2017) moved to Taos with her family in 1962; they arrived caravan-style with their neighbors Larry and Alyce Frank. As a child, McElmurry found herself in the presence of such artists as Oli Sihvonen, Jorge Fick, Gisella Loeffler, and Andrew Dasburg—to name a few—and her grandfather (Taos painter and Gallery A co-founder) Mario Larrinaga. Her parents frequently took her to art openings at Stables Gallery and Gallery A. She also spent a lot of time wandering through the sagebrush, absorbing the landscape and light of New Mexico. Her family left Taos in 1968, but she returned as an adult to live for periods of time. Until her death, she lived in Taos with her husband and their dog.

McElmurry studied for two years at SUNY Purchase and The School of Visual Arts in New York and worked for 20 years as an editorial illustrator before continuing her career as a children's book author and illustrator. She illustrated 20 picture books, four of which she also wrote (see jillmcelmurry.com).

In 1982 McElmurry began experimenting with drawing and painting as a therapeutic tool. In 2010, longtime friend Rena Rosequist asked her if she had ever thought about painting her own vision of Taos and Northern New Mexico. That suggestion blossomed into many paintings which reflected her love for the New Mexico landscape.