Sunday, July 2, 2017

Janine and Mark

"Janine" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"
"Mark" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"

"Janine and Mark" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas --each panel 12" x 16"

I finished Janine and Mark's portraits today-- more commemorative portraiture for Healing Hearts Thru Art. Brother and sister, both passed on from illness. I hope the portrait paintings will bring their Mom some comfort.

I have quite a bit of portraiture work these coming weeks, but that's good--I love doing the work, and I know how much this helps the parents when they receive the portraits. And, that-- bringing God's beauty and love through art, is what art is all about-- at least to me anyway ❤️

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Korey Harwood

"Korey Harwood-11/10/2017" by Hilary J. England, 12" x 16" oil on canvas

This is the finished portrait of Korey Harwood, another portrait completed for my art outreach ministry, Healing Hearts Thru Art. Korey especially touched my heart. While I was painting him, I felt a most amazing connection to him-- very strong. His eyes kept "talking" to me, quietly and persistently. It's as if he wanted me to be aware of him, and to make sure I absolutely captured his essence, for his Mom. It was a very intense experience.

I have a constant stream of requests through this ministry, and as I read the stories of these people who are now gone, I feel a deep longing for their families. I pray for their comfort and for God's peace for them. I pray the portrait will give them joy, and fond rememberances of their children who departed too soon. The work can be grueling, but it is very rewarding. I thank God for the privilege to be able to serve these parents and families.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Janine part one

Janine in progress-- oil on canvas, 12" x 16"

 I have started another portrait for my nonprofit, Healing Hearst Thru Art. I enjoy the work, because as a commemorative portrait, working solely from three to four photos, these portraits present their own unique challenges. Unlike working from life, in these portraits, you must bridge any "gaps" instinctively, rather than visually, like with a live model. This is somewhat nerve-wracking when you are like me, used to relying on the visual itself to guide me, rather than making "guesstimates". So, for that reason alone, this work is very unique and challenging.

This will be a modified diptych in a way when it is done. Her brother Mark will be painted in a complimentary, paired setting so that the two portraits can be paired into one frame, or hung side by side as a complement. I am very much looking forward to working out this unique two part portrait piece for their Mom and family ❤️

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Old Stone cottage and wildflowers

 "Old stone cottage and wildflowers" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 8" x 11"

Lest you think I have moved to some remote place, I have not!  I was working very diligently on my new art project outreach, "Healing Hearts Thru Art", and getting that all set up.  It's a project to gift bereaved parents with a free gift of a 12" x 16" commemorative portrait of their child who has passed on. That took a lot of work getting it all set up, and even though it's up and running, it still needs lots of attention, plus I did 4 portraits in a month along with other work, so I have been a bit swamped.  The URL for that community outreach ministry is , should you or someone you know who would like more information about our project.

In the midst of this, I found a little quiet time the other day to do a little plein air work locally.  I found a little decrepit stone cottage, on the edge of the cemetery on the outskirts of town, and it was just lovely.  All of the purple flowers and other wildflowers were all in bloom on it -- sweet peas, other flowers I don't even know (I will have to look them up) all over it.  The saggin doors and window frame, faded and bleached from the sun and weather -- it was just lovely and sad all at the same time.

So, now that Summer is here,  I look forward to more outdoor painting, and just lots more work in general!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The quiet creek

"The quiet creek" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 8" x 11" 

Here is a little study I did this week, down by the creek that splits off through town.  The day was warm, and the kids were all playing by the edges of it, squishing their hands in the mud.  It was such a timeless scene, one that could have vaulted back to the 1600's, and still, children would be enjoying their time in the creek.  These four girls and little brother in tow, all towheaded and in their play clothes.  It was very sweet to watch them enjoying the mud and without a care in the world.

The sunlight was so strong, and the shadows were alive.  I had to try to work as quickly as possible, to try and catch that moment.  I feel like I was cracking off "my shell" from winter, and trying to get the rust all gone from my mind and hand.  It was a wonderful exercise, to be sure.

I am looking to start a new series -- I am officially shelving this summer's project that I was going to move forward with.  I am moving in a new direction, and decided, I am not interested in such a big scale project, when in essence, my heart is still here among the local people, the forgotten people of America.

So, that's the direction I'm going to go in, and I will very much love exploring the little towns and people that reside in them.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A walk along the canal

"A walk along the canal" by Hilary J. England
oil on canvas, 8" x 11"
It was very important for me to get out and about and do some plein air painting.  The last few weeks saw me melting away indoors, and I could feel my soul dying in inches with each passing day -- at least that's what it felt like!

I get depressed when I'm not outside, enjoying nature and the air, feeling the breeze on my face.  Oh sure, it's not all moonlight and magnolias when I'm out painting, to be sure -- there are lots of frustrations and problems to be solved, associated with outdoor painting -- but when the day is good, and all the factors fall into place, there is no better experience.  And today was one of those days.

I just happened to get a real feeling in my soul for the woman and her little child as they strolled quietly along.  I imagined my own conversations with my little ones, explaining the flowers and the butterflies, and the million or so questions they would have over everything, and it brought a tear to my eye, thinking of those days that are gone now.  I have new little ones to stroll with, but my original babies are all grown and sometimes, the nostalgia is overwhelming.

So, enjoy this fair, fair day, and here is a little painting to recall your own happy memories with!


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Study of whole and cut lemons/Zorn palette

"Study of whole and cut lemons/Zorn palette" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 8" x 11"

I wanted to go out and do some painting outdoors today, and this morning, the weather seemed promising.  I worked in my garden for a little while, and then when it was time to head out, the wind got very heavy.  I went to the store to wait it out, but it never died down, even knocking down a few portions of the fence in my yard that was a little rickety.  I decided that today was not a day I wanted to battle the wind, so I would sadly take it back indoors.

I had a lot of lemons -- some ripe, some overripe, and some underripe and I thought I would do a study of them using a modified Zorn palette.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with a "Zorn palette" -- it is a palette based on the colors used by the Artist Anders Zorn.  He used a very minimal palette of only Ivory black, Yellow ochre, and Crimson, and of course a white.  I did not use this exactly -- since I am still waiting on my Ivory black reorder, I was forced to use Lamp black, which is a much flatter less blue hued black, so to compensate, I added some cobalt blue into the palette.

I have to say, this was.a challenging palette to work with, especially when you are not used to such a limitation.  Trying to build value, chroma, and contrast with this limited amount of color was a very good exercise, and I think I will do a few more for good measure.  It's good to challenge yourself and do things you would not normally do every now and then -- keeps the mind and hand sharp!

So, hopefully in the next few days, the wind dies down, and the rain stays away, and maybe I can get outdoors like I really want to!

But, when life throws you lemons, do a still life of them! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!).


Janine and Mark

"Janine" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 12" x 16" "Mark" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 12" x...