Monday, October 7, 2019

Portrait of Cory

Portrait of Cory
Oil on canvas, 12" x 16"
I completed this portrait of Cory this morning.  I have been feeling a bit under the weather, but that can be for a number of reasons, and maybe the rainy weather wasn't helping.  There are lots of reasons why, but I always try to just push through that -- the show must go on!

The changing light made it very difficult to photo the portrait -- I feel like that is the struggle that never ends for me, and it has become a personal joke.  But, if that's the ceiling of today's woes, it certainly is a blessed day for sure~ I won't gripe about anything because life is good.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Progress 😊

Progress shot 3: adding glazes of color

Progress shot 2: developing further layers

Progress shot 1 : initial layers

I have been working on this new painting now between two other projects and although the progress has been slow, it’s getting there.

I decided to take a different approach with this painting— to start out with a grisaille design in gray scale and then build layers of glazed color, which is time consuming and different than I usually work, but thats what’s fun about painting— experimenting and trying new ways to work. 

Here are the first three progress shots of the painting, from grisaille to mid stage painting.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Adventures in Egypt Facebook Auctions!

Hello friends! As some of you know, I travel quite a bit, seeking out new cultures to explore and deriving a great deal of inspiration from painting on site in new landscapes. This process has a huge part in informing my work at every level, and while it can be stressful as well as exciting— it’s just an essential part of my art practice. 

I have a new travel coming up at the end of November — I will be traveling to explore the country of Egypt! 

With that exciting trip will come many exotic themes and possibilities, but, as with all travel— my expenses constantly creep upward, even when I’m going as I always go— very economically! 😁

So, starting on this Friday evening, September 20th, I will start my first of 4 private Art auctions here on Facebook just for my special friends here! I will be auctioning off four different original works of art in four different weekly auctions, for my friends here on Facebook —to have an exclusive chance to own piece of *original artwork* at a great price, and also to raise funds for my trip!

The link to the auction will be posted on Friday morning in a Facebook event announcement and the process will be simple— all you will need to do to bid is to post in the comments! I like to keep it simple for all of us 😊😊

I hope you will all participate and check back often to see if you are winning 😁 but also, to be part of my Adventure to Egypt!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Open expanses

“Study of clouds in September” oil on canvas, 8” x 11” by Hilary J. England

I painted this as my heart was in turmoil. Such a beautiful day, and yet, it weighed heavily on me. I thought back 18 years, to the horror of that day, and then I thought back 11 more...12 more...standing in the quiet of th office, looking out over the Manhattan landscape...the other buildings, the bay with the helicopters constantly engaged in a delicate dance of weaving about each other like moths at a lantern. I remembered occasionally stepping up into the long, elegant windows, and pressing my head to thick glass to look down and thrill myself. Many days, from the 92nd floor, I would see a cloud cover that settled around the midsection of the building like a fluffy belt. Other days, I would see tiny people as small as a swarm of ants milling about in the streets below, caught up in the hectic pace of the day and their daily lives, not knowing that a young girl was watching them with intense interest from above in a building on top of the world.

The days before and after September 11th always cause a flood of emotions for me, a mixture of nostalgia and pain, and force my mind back to my youth, which I suppose is a good thing. It reminds me of who I was. I have lost much of that much. That is my ghost. I think if she and I were to cosmically meet, say, passing each other in some street, she would not recognize me, and I would weep at how distant we became. 

The landscape I sat in in this day was bright and clean and refreshing and perfect, but oddly sad and alone, dwarfed by the largeness of the universe. The one tree stood alone and resigned. Lonely? Not so much. Maybe indifferent, sad, thoughtful or resigned. 

These were my thoughts when I did this cloud study and the breezes blew by me and through me.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Indian summer at the dam

"Indian summer at the dam" by Hilary J. England, oil on canvas, 8" x 11"

It's been so warm and beautiful, the weather at this time of year is always a gift.  The late summer warmth mixed with the slight chill of the coming fall give a special feel to the days and nights, and the leaves are beginning to have their first tinge of yellow of some of their tips.  Fall foliage is certainly right around the corner.

I did this little oil painting study on a fine day, and its the type of painting I absolutely adore to do.  The process is so relaxing, and it always makes me so grateful just for the glorious weather and the beauty of the days and landscapes.

I hope you also enjoy these beautiful days! <3 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

New Directions

“Shadows and hope” Oil on canvas, by Hilary J. England, 2019, 36” x 48”

Falling into things

Sometimes, we just "fall" into things, like happy accidents.  Sometimes, we fall into things and it's not quite a happy situation, but something good can come from it.  Either of these circumstances can be a blessing, even if one is in disguise.

This is what occurred when I painted "Ghosts and recollections."  I was geared up to have the piece, created solely for a show with a theme of artwork that tells a story -- anything imaginative -- and realistic, viola, imaginative realism.

This was a genre I had long avoided.  I like artwork based in reality -- something that the viewer could relate to, and build a bridge of connection with.  Imaginative realism conjured ideas of campy unicorns and black velvet space scenes (cue the shuddering) -- nope.  Not for me.  So, when I had a nagging voice in the back of my psyche -- call it the Muse -- who urged me to do it, to stretch myself, to put my biases aside and step into the idea.  I decided I could do this, and create a series of three interconnected, inter-related works, each a standalone work, with its own story to tell, a sort of beginning, middle, and end work.  

It took a few weeks of mulling it, sketching things, writing out ideas, snipping little "samples of colors" and references shapes and figures, putting them all together into little thumbnails.  I finally created an image in my mind of what I was looking to convey, and the work began in earnest.  But, there was a side-effect to it all: I had to pull upon memories that were very painful and long ago put away- carefully filed into cabinet number 2410 in the cobwebbed recesses of my mind's archives.  This was not pleasant.


Even though it was not pleasant, it WAS inspiring.  I certainly won't say it was cathartic because it wasn't.  Sorry, not for me.  That old carp from the shrink's couch of talking or writing out your problems and blah blah blah never did a thing for me.  I prefer to leave things in the dust of the past and move on.  That's just my way -- you have your way, I have mine, we all move to the beat of different drums, so to speak.  Anyway, getting back to what it did -- it opened up a floodgate of creativity.  I was eagerly looking forward to creating a nontraditional triptych (three) and began the work.  

After completion of that initial work, I found that I and the artwork had been pre-emptively cut from the show.  I was, to put it mildly, infuriated.  No other word for it.

After a few days of getting calm and finding my center again, I decided that despite the exhibition show organizers apparently AWFUL taste in cutting my work ;-) , I would continue through with the original idea, and even if the works never saw a show, I would do it because the Muse in me demanded it.  Plain and simple.

A star is born!

So, here is the second piece of the three.  It's called "Shadows and hope."  The piece continues along the vein of my own life experiences, of loss, of pain, loneliness, confusion, regrets.  But, always, always, always, there is matter what.  It's there, small, delicate, and yet, so powerful.  It's waiting always, to fill you back up and give you strength.  

I won't go into the particular elements of the painting (I do that in my personal journals -- y'all will just have to wait 100 years until after I'm dead and some blue-haired professor is adding their own embellishments and slants in some class somewhere).  I allow the viewers to experience the painting from their own perspective, to identify with elements in the painting within their own experiences and heart.  

Or, maybe they just like it for unknown reasons. It just speaks to them.  It just "clicks" -- like a cute person in the coffee shop.  

No matter why you may like it, or adore it, or hate it, it will be personal to you, as the story behind it is personal to me.  Don't expect a long-winded dissertation of verbal silliness -- I don't do artwork statement pieces like that.  

And in the end:

I decided I will continue on with additional pieces outside the original three.  How many, I don't know.  Is this the official announcement of a move into a different direction -- I don't know that either.  I've never been very fond of making announcements etc.  I don't like hard and fast rules to stick to when it comes to the direction of my work.  Let's just say I am going to begin a series of these more imaginative realist paintings, and see where they take me.  I have an idea for the series, and yes, maybe they will help me put my own ghosts and recollections in order too.  I guess you never really know!

I will blog a post for each of the works, and the overarching theme, when the three are fully created, and for other plans regarding the series too.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Painting Size scales

"Ghosts and Recollections" oil on canvas, 36" x 48"

"Red rocks and the female figure" oil on canvas, 16" x 20"

"Old barn wood and the female figure" oil on canvas, 16" x 20"
Hello friends! 

I had a few people ask me different sizes and scales for various paintings so I decided I would post of the photos showing scale and size, so it would better help you gauge the artwork for your space.

Now keep in mind, these are the original artworks (digital prints can be made to any size or framing specification available on the website).  Also, I have a very cool feature on my website that allows you to see the original artwork, to exact scale, either in an augmented reality room you construct (featured right there on the page that you can play around with and it's actually fun), or if you are on a mobile, like a tablet or phone, you can actually project the scale artwork onto your own space, so you can see what it would look like right there and then -- no guessing if the piece will work on your wall and in your space! That's always a huge concern, and the new augmented reality function on my website eliminates it.  Now you can see what it will look like and not wonder and be uncomfortable hoping it will look as you hoped :-) All gone! I love technology! :-)

So, if you stop by my website at , you can view the different original artworks and employ the augmented reality (AR) function to see how any of the paintings look on your wall - like going into a dressing room! <3


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Portrait of Cory

Portrait of Cory Oil on canvas, 12" x 16" I completed this portrait of Cory this morning.  I have been feeling a bit under th...