Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
Monday, July 24, 2017
"The chickadee and the sunflowers" by Hilary J. England
Oil on canvas, 8" x 11" 2017
Since my chuckle patch of sunflowers are in bloom, I have watched the little sparrows and chickadees resting in the branches, so I decided to go find some more similar vistas out a little further, with no townhouses to break up the view. I was able to find a quick view not too far from home, and actually get done before the monsoon arrived. I needed to take a break from portraits, both of the living and the ones who have passed, and just paint a happy landscape -- as Ross would say back in the day.
I forgot how much I loved painting them, just in the month or so I have not been out and about. I can't let time slip by me like that again, no matter how busy, or how good the cause. It just leaves a hollow, empty feeling inside me, and I didn't know why until I started working on this, and the joy flooded in as I looked around at nature. Just glorious ❤️
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
|"A walk along the canal" by Hilary J. England|
oil on canvas, 8" x 11"
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
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
|"Early moonrise over the winter field" by Hilary J. England|
I have been patiently waiting on Spring, as we all are I suppose. I don't mind the change of seasons at all, but when the end of Winter comes, we are usually all ready and chomping at the bit to move into the next season, and I am definitely no exception.
I have been more subdued this season, maybe because the month of February was so raucous with a lot of tumultuous news for me and my family. Things are calming down now a bit, and I find myself just ready to do something: and that simply means more work. More art.
So, I hope you enjoy this little study of the early moonrise over the dead field...with the new life just below the surface of dirt, waiting to spring alive with the first warmth of Spring.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
|"Enchanted forest in PA" by Hilary J. England|
oil on canvas, 12" x 16"
It has been difficult for me to get out regularly this year and paint, and that hurts me deeply. February was an incredibly difficult month, with several very bad, seemingly back-to-back events that happened to people I love, and I was literally rolled as if by a tsunami. I am glad February is gone.
But, on the last day of February, I was able to put the evil month behind me with a soothing painting of the local forest. Sitting in the gentle quiet of the woods, on a soft, rotting stump, watching the light filter through the trees. It healed my soul and made me able to put my armor back on and get back into the swing of things!
So, I think that is what much of art is: a way to voice the voiceless feelings in our soul. The things that wound, and the things that heal. To mourn, and to be grateful. To rage at our powerlessness, but to regain and reclaim a little bit of our control and translate it into something beautiful and comforting.
I look forward to a good year from this point forward :-)
Sunday, February 5, 2017
|"The red cat and his girl" by Hilary J. England|
oil on canvas, 18" x 24" x 2", 2017
The winter always gets me down a little, especially after New Years'. This year was a particularly mean one, with all of the depressing stuff going on in the world, on every news station, 24 hours a day. I have retreated into a quiet zone of Gene Tierney, Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart, Tyrone Powers, and friends, and also, decided that a painting of fervent love was necessary. So, I observed our once removed red cat, Dante, and his girl, Maddie. No matter how many kisses Dante receives, he loves them all. Never a complaint, never an angry "meow" -- he loves and loves his kisses and his kiddies. He is a true friend to his loving family.
Initially, I didn't think it much through. I have really been driven by chiaroscuro these days, and more intense light. The backlighting on this pose was just to delicious to resist, and a bit unconventional, so I had to just go with it, good or bad. And, I happen to like the end result--I think the dramatic light worked for the composition, and to show the fervor of their love.
I was once staunchly against the use of black in my paintings, as were the Impressionists, using Van Dyke brown and ultramarine or another combo with Van Dyke brown, if I wanted to achieve a truly dark tone, because I felt black was too flat, and too cold, but I have been employing Ivory black lately, and I feel the warm, brown undertone is really good for dramatic compositions, and so, the ban on black paint is officially over. My obsession with studying light and it's nuances is really piquing now, so look for more to come, at least in my figure work. In my landscapes, I'm still about things being bright and airy...I guess it's just a way of pleasantly looking at the world in a state of hyper beauty!
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
|"Cardinal on the old fence" by Hilary J. England|
Oil on canvas, 8" x 11"
So, again, I was working with a limited palette here of Van Dyke brown, Cad red deep, Ultramarine, Indian yellow, Titanium white, and Burnt Umber. I was able to catch this pretty quickly, and substitute the driving rain (and change it to snow) and the washy white background that was melting fast, and make it into a snow scene. The bird was very cooperative. He basically just sat there, by himself, looking pretty satisfied. Well, I guess he had eaten a lot of seeds and was content.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
|"Cardinals in the snow" by Hilary J. England|
oil on canvas, 8" x 11"
I have been very busy as usual, but not too busy to stop and enjoy the falling snow and the visitors that appeared at the bird feeder right after: a group of social Cardinals. They were so sweet, and seemed to be having a brunch or some sort of little get-together after the snow ended.
It isn't always easy to set up and capture a scene quickly, but you do get used to it after years of practice. I have a very basic pochade box, and I paint very quickly, utilizing a limited palette many times. This time was one of those times. I used only Van Dyke brown, Ultramarine, Cad Red deep, Indian Yellow, and Titanium white. This allows for a rapid study without too many color choices that can become troublesome if you are trying to do a basic study.
I love cardinals--they are one of my favorite native birds, as the are both stout and elegant, and of course, their color. This was a very enjoyable painting for me, and I don't mind painting in the cold. As long as you take certain steps and precautions, painting outdoors in winter is not a miserable experience. Always make sure your head and feet are warm and dry, you keep your medium covered so it doesn't gum up, and work rapidly if it's really cold (your paint can actually get inconsistent and "gloppy"). Other than that, enjoy!. I always do. Be sure to bring a thermos of hot tea, coffee, or whatever you like that's hot. It helps both for your body and your soul <3
Sunday, January 15, 2017
|"Fourth of July" by Hilary J. England|
oil on canvas, 24" x 36" x 2"
I finished this larger studio painting the other day, but the weather was sloppy, and it prohibited me from photoing outdoors, which I prefer, so I had to try to make do with an indoor photo session. My verdict: Not so much, haha.
Anyway, I really enjoyed doing this painting, both from studies, and par Coeur, because it put me into the mindset of warmer days as the snow was falling. I, of course, had to go out and paint in that snow, but I'll post that painting tomorrow. One painting at a time!!! Let me not run away with myself.
Here's to dreaming of warmer days and summer evenings~
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