JP Open Studios Preview

Kristin Bonelli

Courtesy PhotoWellfleet, Massachusetts is a digital print on watercolor paper by Jennifer Hill

Jennifer Hill: Prints and Paper

Most doodles feature flowers, stars, circles and squiggles, but few make it past the margins of our notebooks or napkins. Most vacation plans start out ambitious as would-be adventurers collect piles of travel books, magazines and advice, but few follow through with their detailed itineraries.

With her signature print and paper line, “Places I’ve Never Been,” Jennifer Hill does the dirty work for us and makes it look good, fervently researching and sketching the far-flung places we yearn to see but probably never will—or at least have not yet. Combining her passion for travel and design, Hill creates delicate lines and bold prints that represent expectations based on the quotes, scents, sounds and tastes of the places she researches.

“I keep these sketch books, these moleskin journals and cut clippings from fashion magazines and other magazines. I doodle patterns, draw it on [my computer] and then print them out at home,” Hill reports.

The fascinating journey from idea to finished product is illustrated on Hill’s new blog,, which shows the process behind her signature line. Always a rare treat to peek into the mind of the artist, Hill’s sketchbooks shed light on how slippery oysters and shimmering gowns become the bold flowers of “Wellfleet, Massachusetts” and the intimidating glaciers of arctic waters become the abstracted floating jewels of “Kemi, Finland.”

And what might Hill use as inspiration for those who have never been to Jamaica Plain? Living near Franklin Park, Hill shares: “I always think of Jamaica Plain as trees and birds and lots of cats. I think I would focus on the nature in Jamaica Plain, the green space. I think that helps to give JP its laid-back and relaxed feel.”

Hill has enjoyed Jamaica Plain for the past nine years, moving here while pursuing a degree in graphic design from Massachusetts College of Art. After graduating from Mass Art, and with the gentle push and support of friends who ran their own businesses, Hill looked around at her stacks of sketch-books, thought “Why not?” She launched JHill Design ( in 2003.

Hill is an active supporter of Jamaica Plain arts programming, participating in First Thursdays and JP Open Studios. For last year’s open studios, Hill designed the map that guided art seekers from one studio to the next. This September, Hill will return to share 12 new “Places” designs, which include: Chicago, Illinois; Pondicherry, India; Bordeaux, France; and local favorite Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

Jamaica Plain Open Studios is an annual free weekend-long celebration of the arts where over 200 artists display and sell their original work. This year, Open Studios occurs Sept. 29 – 30. Visit or call 617-943-7819 for more information about the event, participating artists, and volunteer opportunities.

Jamaica Plain Open Studios is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administrated by the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events.

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