Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor Day

"Noelle and D" by Hilary  J. England
charcoal on paper, 18" x 24", 2012

Yea, Labor Day.  The official end of Summer.  That makes me quite happy!  I come out in the morning, and now I can feel the cool, faint, barely existent smell of Autumn, but soon, it will be here!  The crisp, clean air, the beautiful foliage, the harvest moon.  Yes, I look forward to Autumn with the same enthusiasm as I have since I was a kid--it was always my favorite season.

I have been working away, and have completed another mixed media work (I have yet to photo or post either of these works), and am working on a third.  There will five works in all in this series, each addressing a different topic/emotional issue.

For now, I will leave you with this charcoal study entitled "Noelle and D" charcoal on paper, 18" x 24".  It is a study for my "Rural American Youth" series, and I did several drawings in conjunction with that series. I'll post them as I photo them...I've been lazy in the heat, plus working on commissions.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Busy bee

"BFFs" by Hilary J. England
Digital Fractal Artwork

I have been working very diligently for the last few days, framing work, painting, working on a charcoal series, working on the mixed media series, and negotiating with several galleries for upcoming exhibitions, two group, and one solo show.  So, I am rapidly approaching exhaustion.  I don't think the cross-training boot camp class I have been participating in is helping matters, LOL.

So, lots on the horizon.  I feel a feverish drive to work at this...I don't think the world will end in November, but we may have upheavals no matter which way this dastardly election works out.  I don't want to think anymore about it, or hear anymore about it.  It's infuriating, and depressing.  I stick to watching TCM and great movies from the Silver Screen.  They keep my spirits buoyed and give me hope for the human race, so I can continue with peace in my heart.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pulling it all together

"Goose stepping" by Hilary J. England
Digital fractal art, 2012

This is part of a digital series I've been working on in conjunction to my "Rural American Youth" painting series.  These different media artworks are being pulled together for an exhibition, which also include drawings, charcoal work, 3-D mixed media art/sculpture, and photography.

I have been working away, really enjoying working in different mediums, and the freedom of it.  I feel the inspiration burning like a fever, and it sets my mind ablaze.  It's like opening the windows and feeling a clean breeze come rushing in.  Yes, moving into different mediums has been a very cleansing experience.

I have been working on 3 dimensional mixed media pieces as well, consisting of ready-made and found objects, along with papier mache, and different textures.  What a great outlet!

So, more to come in the next few days!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New directions

Digital Artwork, 2012

So, I am working on a few shows around the country, and one in Rome.  I have been working feverishly these last few days, on some new mixed media works, including sculpture, digital art, and other works in my "Rural American youth" series.  I have been adding works in all mediums, and I enjoy that IMMENSELY.  Working only in paints gets stifling to me after a while, and drawing, sculpting, and other mixed media work really makes me feel unshackled.

This piece is called "Flunkies," and I had a lot of fun working with these carefree kids, as always.  More to come in the next few days!!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fly to Jesus...

Rest in peace, Noah.

It's a beautiful day, but attending a funeral is a sad way to spend it. These types of occurrences, like the loss of a 20 year old young man, challenges my heart and my mind, to understand, then I realize, there is no understanding, only faith.

Noah was a sweet, vibrant, talented, and ambitious young man, who was a friend of my daughter's, and he drowned a few days ago in freak accident at a popular swimming hole here in the neighborhood.  Nothing strange involved, no drugs or alcohol, just a group of young people frolicking and having innocent fun on a rope swing, and then the current of the river took him away in front of their horrified eyes.  They tried to help him, but could not reach him, and so, Noah was lost.

Today was his funeral, and what a wrenching funeral it was. To see the anguish of his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, cousins, friends, and the community at large, as we all sadly remembered him and the potential that he had, all gone in one blink of an eye on a bright, beautiful afternoon of happy play, a day just like today.

I could only quietly weep for their helpless pain, their eyes that met mine, that met each mourner that came, and that desperate pain that each person has when a sudden death comes into the midst of everyday life.  Why?  Why him?  Why now?  Why does a horrible thing like this happen to a nice, promising young person?
We will never know, not on this side of Heaven, so the only thing we can do is accept, grieve, and remember.  Remember Noah, and how he was a good friend, and how he was loved.

Rest in peace, Noah.  Fly to Jesus, and live.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dog days

"A world within a world: Fletcher 2" oil on canvas panel
12" x 16" , 2012

For me, August has always been the most oppressive and forlorn of all the months on the calendar.  The days are hot, lazy, fat, and stagnant, with blistering, humid heat, yet, in our parts, usually drought-like conditions.  It's as if the days are pregnant with water, and yet never give birth to a tremendous storm that will release the sweltering, sultry heat.  I have abandoned my studio altogether for now, this summer.  The conditions grew unbearable, as if I were painting in an oven.  No fans or paltry old air conditioner could touch the incredibly claustrophobic and suffocating conditions.  Inside into the relief to paint non-figurative color studies and other related activities--it was the only choice I was left with.

During these Fletcher color studies, I have also ordered a large amount of books on art, philosophy, and cultural connections.  Some of the reading was pleasant, other books not so much.  As an artist, it is a constant war within my mind to grapple with and understand why I create, what is my place in the "machine," and which direction my voice should be aimed to echo into the darkness that is the unknown.  I do not believe that art should be created just for the sake of art, nor do I believe that the "mission" of my voice as communicated through my work is to sway people to my belief system.

Ultimately, I believe that art is a type of religion in itself, a connection from the physical into the metaphysical, and each piece connects with the viewer in a private way, so that they can contemplate not only the surface beauty, but the message and symbolism contained within the work.  Part of the struggle is finding the correct medium to convey both the emotion and the symbolism intended. I also believe art affirms order and beauty, even if the piece is ultimately about destruction, because there is a dark side to life, but, that is only one dimension to our existence, and not the dominant direction, at least not for me.  Life is inherently a gift, and not an absurd and meaningless proposition, so my goal as an artist is to chronicle that.

I know that the bulk of modern art is alienating and requires an intermediary to intervene on behalf of the viewer.  That reflects a degree of Catholicism in my mind, where I would need a priest to intervene and petition to God for me, and then communicate back the answer, the map of how I can gain cleansing through an accepted protocol of actions.  I recoil at that idea, yet, it is the norm of the day, in a culture that claims to be secular, we have embraced the same ideals that we so openly spurn.  How ironic. To me, tucking myself away and leaving the realm of the people, through elitism or any other apartheid, is depressing and not my goal as an artist.  So, I continue to push ahead, in the direction I feel I am called to move in, whether or not it is acceptable to the Establishment.

Carry on- Beginning Life in Lockdown

“Study of dramatic back lighting” oil on wooden panel, 16” x 16” Strange Times Beginning Life in Pandemic Lockdown Life in ...