Saturday, September 29, 2012

Check it out!

"The Dorm" by Hilary J. England
2012, Digital Art

I had strange dreams last night, but that is nothing new.  I woke up a bit foggy (and no, there were no substances involved!) and the gray weather really matched my mindset.  I think I was thinking about the state of things, our culture, the changes we go through, and feeling somewhat frustrated about our lack of cohesion for any sort of standard of measurement or belief system.  Our state of anti Art. 

Still, I think our state of anti Art is a good reflection of our absurdness, or hypocritical or "duality" of thought.  It seems there is no linear thought processes, or a rational way of deriving a conclusion.  So, this causes me, as a human human, a bit of vertigo.  Yet, I still manage to form my own little world to counter the tilt-a-whirl of the planet that seems to be in constant, random motion.

In my own work, I like to explore subjects I am thoroughly familiar with, and human processes that are universal, even if the "window dressings" are a little different from culture to culture, or due to a "generation gap."  No matter how well you think you know a subject matter, you never really do.  That's what I love about humankind.  The sameness and the differentness of our humanity.

I also enjoy other artwork that I can derive a sense of truth from, a universal commonality, a thread that runs through all experiences.  I have found a really amazing website lately (or shall I say, they found me), and after doing a good deal of exploration on it, would love to pass it along to you, my friends.  The website is www.artsia.com  and the spectrum of different, quality work on it is really very stimulating and impressive.  If you are looking to purchase the most current, important work that is being produced around the globe, here is a website that you want to visit.  If you just want to browse to get an idea of current art trends, read some very informative articles (they have a very thorough article section), etc., you should also stop by Artsia.com.

Artsia.com is different than many other websites because the work is juried onto the site, rather than allowing anyone to post, and I know that some people feel very strongly that jurying is exclusionary, I do think that it works for Artsia.com.   Artsia.com is looking for a certain caliber of work, and through a panel of curators, can achieve a very wide selection of quality artwork to suit all tastes and worldviews, so again, I think the jurying of artwork onto Artsia.com works very well. 

So, that's that for today.  I hope you enjoyed my newest work, "The Dorm" as much as I enjoyed exploring the world of college freshmen.  Always a treat and a trip down memory lane! 


 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Welcome Autumn!!

"Study of marsh at sunset with wildflowers" by Hilary J. England, 2012
oil on canvas, 8" x 11"


Ah, beautiful Autumn!!!  The air is crisp and clean, and the tips of the trees are turning that deep tinged burgundy, before becoming blazing orange and lovely yellow.  I love driving through the rolling farm country and seeing the beautiful fields of ragweed and wildflowers, so very magnificent.

I hadn't been doing much plein air painting, but I did for the last few days, getting some time together to bust the cobwebs off my guerrilla box, which as been sitting quietly since France two months ago.  That's OK though, as I have been pursuing other projects, and new projects are always a breath of fresh air.

So, here is my painting from a few days ago, out in the marshy area, the blue mountains in the background.  Just a quick study, but I enjoyed it immensely.  Doing little landscapes makes me feel at home, and that is always a welcome feeling.

Saturday, September 22, 2012



"Shattered" by Hilary J. England, 2012

I had many thoughts of the poems of Longfellow when I was creating this, in particular, "Footsteps of Angels."  
"Footsteps of Angels"  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
FOOTSTEPS OF ANGELS
When the hours of Day are numbered,
And the voices of the Night
Wake the better soul, that slumbered,
To a holy, calm delight;
Ere the evening lamps are lighted,
And, like phantoms grim and tall,
Shadows from the fitful firelight
Dance upon the parlor wall;
Then the forms of the departed
Enter at the open door;
The beloved, the true-hearted,
Come to visit me once more;
He, the young and strong, who cherished
Noble longings for the strife,
By the roadside fell and perished,
Weary with the march of life!
They, the holy ones and weakly,
Who the cross of suffering bore,
Folded their pale hands so meekly,
Spake with us on earth no more!
And with them the Being Beauteous,
Who unto my youth was given,
More than all things else to love me,
And is now a saint in heaven.
With a slow and noiseless footstep
Comes that messenger divine,
Takes the vacant chair beside me,
Lays her gentle hand in mine.
And she sits and gazes at me
With those deep and tender eyes,
Like the stars, so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies.
Uttered not, yet comprehended,
Is the spirit’s voiceless prayer,
Soft rebukes, in blessings ended,
Breathing from her lips of air.
Oh, though oft depressed and lonely,
All my fears are laid aside,
If I but remember only
Such as these have lived and died!
I created this in response to the sadness of having recently attended yet another funeral for a young person (he was just 19, and he drowned during a day of innocent fun with some friends at the local river), and to the pain of having to gaze into another coffin and see the monumental loss and tragedy it is and was. The thought of these types of tragedies sometimes overwhelm me.  All that had spanned in front of him, all of the potential for beauty and truth, all of his talent, all of his love, were all gone in an instant.  
The others that went before him paraded through my mind, the suicide, the murder victim, the car accident, the drug overdose, the lingering death from cancer.  Before, they were living and vital and burning bright and now, they had been reduced to a set of circumstances...their wings clipped off in mid-flight.  I began to sway under the burden of thought of how fragile our existence is.  We can never lose control of our life, because we never have that.  We can disorder our lives with the way we live, or reorder it again, but never control it.  That is just a myth and a fantasy, a slick and very glib lie told by people who are secretly scared witless.
When I walk among their graves, I feel such a mixed emotion.  We all wind up there eventually, despite our best and vainest attempts to keep death away.  But, where are our dead friends really?  That is the mystery that propels us forward, despite of what we believe or do not believe.  The answer is in the recesses of this universe.  Inside, we know somehow some mysterious force holds the answer to that eternal question, and keeps the inhabitants of this world in never-ending turmoil as they seek it.  Some find it, and find peace, or so they claim.  Others openly proclaim they cannot.  Most of us fall somewhere between those two extremes...ever plodding away, ever searching, secretly yearning, quietly hoping, sometimes even daring to believe.   I suppose that might be the core essence of faith, the seed of it.  What grows from there depends on the type of faith, and each individual must explore that solitary road on their own.  

Friday, September 21, 2012

"A promise"

"A promise" by Hilary J. England, 2012, wood, glass, wax, paint



This artwork was based on Wordsworth's "Ode on intimations of mortality"~

Thoughts:

Immortality, mortality, the immortality of love, and the reality of the expectations that usually fall far short 
of the dreamy prospects we cling to secretly in our hearts. 
A promise, a promise.  The hollow resonance of that promise that echoes through the recesses of our minds...
you promised.  You didn't keep it.  The promise was beautiful, pure, full of hope and possibilities,
and now, it is just a bitter memory.  How quickly a promise or vow can move from the heights of Heaven
to the depths of the swampy marshes of pain and misery.  Beautiful youth is never too far removed to even 
bring hope to the oldest of our sphere with a promise. 
 Promise is the equivalent of optimistic hope, joy, expectation, and the idea that all is not absurd and 
irrational.  
A promise promises to set things right, to bring nobility to an ignoble situation, to restore harmony and
honor.  
Yet, most promises are just wispy vapors, holograms, or phantoms. 
 How strange to find a promise unbroken during the course of a lifetime--akin tofinding a unicorn, 
or a field of four-leaf clovers.  
Yet, we still light up like a child deep inside, even against our own rationale, our own free-thinking 
will, 
when we are promised something, whether it is a large promiseor a small vow.  
Promises still hold power.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Virus

I have had a virus of some sort I can't seem to shake.  The local doc says it has been going around the neighborhood like wildfire, a strange sort of illness.  I just feel tired and sweaty, with a nonstop headache, and random feelings of vertigo.  Not pleasant, and very low-grade.  It seems to not want to go away for the last five or so days.  Yuck.

Besides that, I am trying to barrel through it.  I have been working pretty steadily, even though I feel like total garbage and very crabby.  I am getting geared up for a few different shows, but the one I am most excited about right now is the Parallax AF NYC in Chelsea.  It is a curious and really heavy hitting new show in NYC, and I was invited to participate and did so with great anticipation.  Should be an amazing show, with amazing artists, and I am happy to be a part of it.  It's running from 11/16-11/18 in Chelsea, NYC.  Check out my website at: www.hilaryjengland.com for the full scoop.

I have been working in several different mediums, each of them really helpful to the thematic motif of rural American youth.  This is the second mixed media artwork I just finished.  It is called, "Goodbye"



Here are the thoughts for this piece:

"I think, therefore I am." ~Descartes  As we grow from barely thinking human beings into fully aware adults, I noticed a change of perspective that comes along with this blossoming and awareness.  Many times, violent emotions are involved, and in the heat of these conflicts, truth often arises.

It is said that change is hard, but many times that is an understatement.  This artwork "Goodbye" addresses the complexities of the basic principle of change, and the awareness of our movements toward and away from each other.  In the marketplace of ideas, we orbit through many different spheres, sometimes touching, sometimes overlapping, but many times, we can find ourselves at opposite ends of the universe of our reality from people we profess to love and care about, on ever level a human can experience.  Love is a small word for the size and breadth of the psyche it occupies.

No matter how far along a person is on the journey that is life, the death of a relationship and the moment of clarity when it strikes is always a new experience.  Pain, confusion, anger, depression, relief, and sometimes even a dark form of joy are some of the conflicting and jagged emotions that can cloud or clarify judgment.  Often, the experience is so profound, it is life altering.

I constructed this artwork of found and ready-made objects.  The base is a stripped wooden pedestal, and on that I mounted a wine bottle that I found and cleaned.  It was fixed to the base and was papier mached into place, sprayed with spray paint.  The .22 caliber bullets are live rounds, fixed, and painted with black enamel nail polish, as is the archway into the piece, which I constructed of left over wedding cake mountings. Rhinestones mark the phantasms that are floating ideas or dreams.

The piece symbolizes danger, nostalgia, wistful remembrances, sober realization, and of course, a vault into the unknown.



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 r...