Jillana Marshall grew up in Big Bear Lake, California. She won her first award in the festival of arts at the age of ten. Her mother was an accomplished artist who studied under Ed Runci, and her father was a writer and a local contractor. Jillana's creative gift was encouraged and nourished at an early age. Growing up, she spent her winters as an avid snow ski racer and in the warm months she was on horseback, exploring the mountains and meadows of Big Bear .Her early immersion , connection, and love of the outdoors is reflected in her intimate portraits of nature.
Jillana attended Pepperdine University in Malibu for two years on a scholarship, and struggled with a life direction (she considered becoming a dental hygienist). Following her heart, She applied and was admitted to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where she majored in Illustration for four years, receiving her B.F.A. in 1980. Jillana worked in Orange County for five years creating advertisements and editorial Illustrations for magazines before returning to her home town of Big Bear Lake in 1985. She has created many large murals for both corporate clients and the private secter, including Snow Summit/ Bear Mt. Ski Corp, Snow Valley Ski Corp.,Sizzler. Oscar de la Hoya, La Montana, and the Cowboy Express Steakhouse. She has also completed many private portrait commissions and received numerous awards in art shows and competitions, she is of advanced proficiency in all mediums.
Receiving her California teaching credential in 1995, she has since been teaching high school classes in drawing, painting, and ceramics, and has recently completed sixteen units towards her masters in fine-art.
The last five years Jillana has studied and attended workshops with some of the top "Plein air" painters in America including Skip Whitcomb, George Strickland, and Matt Smith. Her work is currently on display at the Arts Council Gallery in Big Bear Lake "Working on location has put the passion back into my art, striving to capture one fleeting moment in time: the light, the smell, the sound, the temperature, the energy. You have to trust the skills you have and let yourself be a conduit, at that moment you become one with life's heartbeat."