Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Exciting News!

"Misbehaved" by Hilary J England, 18" x 20" oil on canvas
I am very honored over being chosen as an Artslant Showcase Winner for for Round #2 in their 2011 Competition.  When I opened their email notice, I felt like Charlie Bucket opening the Willy Wonka candy bar and seeing that instant flash of gold, and then came the rush...awesome!!!!

I know they will be publishing the winners on their http://www.artslant.com/ website in the next couple of days, so I will keep my eyes open for that...but I am just really happy right now to have been chosen, and I will enjoy that today♥

I am working on several paintings right now, including one commission, so I am pretty busy.  The weather seems to be holding steady...hovering right above freezing, so my studio is quite frigid, but getting a little fire cooking helps, as does my heater.  Spring seems to have stalled here...

Art Expo NYC was an amazing event, and we had a wonderful time that day.  Me, Ant, Dad, Jilly and Trevor had a lovely lunch in Jilly and Trevor's new pad on the West Side, and then we went to the Expo.  It was very large, and there was all kinds of art there, something for everyone, as my Dad genially pointed out. 

We had to leave rather hastily, however, due to a phone call informing us that our poor bull dog Mac, who has been ailing this week, was having seizures, so off we went to bring him to Emergency.  He continues to be in guarded condition, and we hope the medications do work for him.

My back has almost completely healed, but I am dealing with one strange side-effect that cropped up last week and seems to be steadily worsening...tinnitus.  I began to do a little research, and indeed, NSAIDS, muscle relaxants and, more specifically, the Vicodin medicines, can have this side-effect.  Ototoxicity is rare, but I did read many cases of people getting ringing in the ears after taking these medicines, although no one could state whether it was permanent or not.  I certainly hope NOT.  I try to ignore this ringing and whistling (it seems mostly in my left ear thankfully not both), but when I think about it, it makes me feel like going stark raving mad! 

So, even though I was only taking one pain tablet and one muscle relaxer at night, as per Dr's orders, I have discontinued all medicines this week, in hopes that the detoxification of any residual medication will alleviate this extremely annoying condition. 

Well, time to get out to the studio.  I leave you with one of the winning entries of the Showcase, and wish you a happy day as well.

Friday, March 25, 2011


"Wall flower (morning glory against barn study)" by Hilary J England, oil on canvas, 8" x 10"

I haven't blogged in over a week, and that always makes me feel a little bad.  I had been in one of those funky moods, that, although I was getting work done, I was not feeling balanced, and I was a bit down.  Every time I would look at the keyboard, my mind would go blank and I would just feel a bit squirmy.  So, I avoided it...yes, I do work hard to overcome procastination sometimes.

During that time, my back is improving a bit each day, I have cut the medicine back to one tablet only at bedtime, and I am starting to feel like myself again.  Also, I had two separate articles published in local news, which was nice, and I was asked to be EBSQ Art's Blogger of the week (ah the irony!) this week, so that was a very surprising honor!  You can read that article/interview here:


Also, I was contacted by a very old friend, literally.  When I was a young girl growing up in New York, I had  neighbors across the street named Joan and Dave, and my brother and I would play with their grandson.  I loved them both deeply, and Joan was the most fascinating woman to me.  She is a Brit, and she is elegant, intelligent and gentle, and treated me with such kindness and dignity, I loved and admired everything about her.  She is/was a writer and an editor, and her Victorian house was always filled with such interesting and unique objects, antiques, ancient books, and of course, her manuscripts.  Joan and Dave's home reminded me of a scene out of a C.S. Lewis novel, with all of the intrigues of Narnia waiting in one of their wardrobes...

Anyway, Joan is up there in age now, and I had not seen her in over a decade since we all moved in different directions and regions.  You can imagine my surprise to receive an email from her the other day, saying she had read about me in the newspaper, and how happy she was to see the article.  That email brought tears to my eyes as I remembered how sweet she was, and also to know that both her and Dave were, as she put it, "still around."  I was able to get her number, and now I look forward to visiting her and Dave this week.  What a blessing!

I do have quite a busy weekend...hopefully this annoying winter will finally go back to the North Pole where it belongs and we'll have no more snow.  I'm not a snow hater, I just don't like things out of order, and snow in Spring is a bit tiresome! 

Art Expo at Pier 94 this weekend in New York City.  I will be there on Sunday afternoon, floating around and taking the sights...if you're there, I look forward to meeting you!

In the meantime, I posted another little bit of warm weather for you, done against the beams of an old neighborhood barn.  Morning glories are one of my favorite (you'd understand that if you saw my backyard!!).  Enjoy!♥♥

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New series offshoot

"Red barn at dusk study" by Hilary J England, oil on canvas, 8" x 10"
I've started to move in another direction with my series...I've included a wider range on the paintings, in terms of the view...they will not be so up close and direct, although they will still be a somewhat tightly bound composition.

I've started three new preliminary studies...I like working in threes (must be a compulsion).  One painting is the final phase of the teenage girls I was working with, and the other two I've branched out a bit, and I'm really excited to begin working on those studies and sketches.  I will also be working bigger with these paintings, with the smallest being 24" x 36", and a possible triptych in this series.

So, I am excited to begin this new phase in my series.  In the meantime, enjoy this little plein air painting from last summer.  It's a local barn, and I was working against the fading evening, but wow, was the sunset beautiful that night, with some storm clouds mixed into the evening sky,  giving it a really purple hue.  I am looking forward to the warm weather and the beach, and doing lots more plein air studies.  Enjoy~~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some tidbits!!

"Lily pads in pond study" by Hilary J England, oil on canvas, 8" x 10"
Here is a study done last year at Hawk Mountain, in their botanical display area.  They have alot of examples of native plants, and a lovely little pond with an abundance of lilypads and flowers.  I am looking forward to painting at Hawk Mountain again in the coming warmer months.

Today was busy...some "kids" stuff in the morning, new car hunting this afternoon, plus started a new painting this afternoon, and now cooking up some food...all this through the moderate back pain...it's getting a little better, so I am DEFINITELY thankful.

I got some donations today through the mail, towards my campaign for the Florence Biennale, THANK YOU!  Every little bit helps, and again, you get some beautiful, original artwork and the satisfaction of knowing you helped further our cultural activities in the global arena.  If you want to donate, even as little as $5.00, I would be so appreciative, and would love to send you a little gift for your support♥  Here is the website:   http://www.florencebi.com/ 

So, that's it for right now--have a wonderful evening!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Art Expo NYC 2011

"Sand dune study, New Jersey" by Hilary J. England, 8" x 10" oil on canvas 2010
Well, the weather is starting to get a little more bluster with the fresh breezes, and the faint earthy scent  of Spring is on the air, so I feel my spirits starting to lift with each sniff!  The crocuses have opened their splendid little petals, and Daylight savings is nearly upon us--Welcome Spring!! 

Art Expo NYC is rapidly approaching, and due to some scheduling conflicts, I will not be able to be there on Saturday, but I will be there for the last day of the Expo, on Sunday afternoon, from 2 pm until closing at 6 pm.  I look forward again to meeting some more wonderful people!

I had a visit with my Doctor, and I feel confident that with his management, I can get this back issue healed, and it is slowly starting to feel a little better, so I am not as down in the dumps about the constant pain, since it is starting to lessen.  That is enough to make me jump for joy, but I'll do that with caution LOL.

The newspaper interview went very well, and I was happy to meet such a lovely and interesting reporter.  It's always nice to meet new and interesting people, and we did have alot of common interests, off the record.  I'll post the link when her article is published.

So, I leave you with another little beach study from the Jersey shore last summer.  It's simply a sand dune oil study, but these little studies are an interesting little bit of history in themselves, because if you look very closely, you can see little grains of sand mixed into the paint, after getting pelted with sand during a wind gust.  So, I take little bits of the places I study with me!  Enjoy ♥

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

new painting in series!

"Misbehaved" by Hilary J England, 18" x 24" x 2" oil on hardwood panel, 2011

This is the newest painting, "Misbehaved"   It is painting no. 5 in my series studying American youth, and the effects of an evolving and shifting culture on these young adults, in particular, young women.  In this painting, I am exploring the subject of behaviors we now consider "taboo" versus the rebellious nature of youth, and the dichotomy of "now versus then" in that there is a constance in the "immortal" thinking of all youth of all culture, and in their defiance of current "norms" in their quest to find themselves.

This was done both conceptually, and par coer from several different studies, drawings, and also observations of the young people I have been studying.  **No animals or children were hurt in the commission of this painting, LOL.**

With that said, this painting is 18" x 24" oil on hardwood panel.  It was a challenge to portray the rickety, broken wooden panels, and pull out the midtones in a painting I wanted to be somewhat close to monotone in its warmth.  She is young, and blazing with passions and rebellion, yet there is a true core of love and promise.  So, here is my interpretation of that. 

Details and other mundane things

"Darlene with basket (outdoor gestural oil study)" by Hilary J. England, 8" x 10" oil on canvas

Red Dot NYC went really well.  I met a whole group of interesting people from NYC, and different parts of the country and world.  I also became acquainted with several other artists, and that was a really nice event.  I look forward to exhibiting with them again in the near future.  It would have been a stellar day if I wasn't nearly crippled from the recent back injury I seem to have incurred.  I was hospitalized on Friday, the day before, and this really made me extremely depressed.  No medicines seem to be working, and I am just madder than a hornet now...

I have been working in extreme pain, and this adds an element of frustration, anger and sadness to everything I look at, or even conceive in my mind.  I keep hoping the pain will lessen, and it has been, in very small increments.  I don't want to take any narcotic pain medicine, because it makes me incoherent, and contrary to popular culture, I DON'T want to be "high" and out of it, I hate that when I'm on the go.  I want to be clear and energetic, and in control of my wits.  So, I have been just suffering through this for the last several days.  Trust me, when you are in severe pain, and day can seem as long as a week...

I have so many things to do, and time doesn't move over for your calamities.  I have a newspaper interview coming up on Thursday, and I have a list as long as my arm of things that need to be done in the next few days, and I don't care if I have to drag myself around on a gurney, I don't have the time to be "ill."

I will be doing Art Expo in New York City in a few weeks, that should be a really good exhibition, and I am also prepping for some other shows coming up...I am thankful for the warmer weather, since that makes working conditions not so hard, and with the right chair, and some Chopin, I can almost forget the pain...

I will be at the Art Student's League on Wednesday, this time in session with Leonid Gervits.  I am looking forward to being there, and hope that my current condition won't preclude me from that...I guess I'll have to keep doing the stretches and the stay soaking in the hot tub!!!

Here is a little gestural nude I did a while back...enjoy♥♥

Stormy Times

“Stormy day in the fields - Tennessee” oil on wooden panel, 18” x 18” by Hilary J. England I painted an original study when I was in Tenness...