Archives for category: musings

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Here is my empty studio. I am now in New York and the paintings are in a vacant gallery, shade pulled over their shadow boxes, door to the space locked.

Tomorrow they will be installed on the walls of Ceres Gallery. And on Tuesday, the show opens.

I know what went into the work. I know how much I attended to the detail of organizing this exhibition. What I don’t know, is how well these works will be received by an audience.

I always paint with part fear, part courage. It’s never a neutral mechanical thing. Oh, the mixing is. I try for what is called internal logic. The colors have to relate to one another. And that’s fairly scientific. Composition has certain rules as well. But the overall letting go of the work! The turning it out into the world! The calling of it finished!

Now they are finished. I called them so. All lined up silently behind the black shade, behind the locked door. Waiting to perform. They aren’t mine anymore. I have no control.

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Here is Orion Crook at the closing reception of his curatorial exhibition “Living Case.” His face is framed by one of the rings I used in my installation, “Afloat” in New York a few years back. He used these squishy rings I made in a different way, making them a part of one of his themes, art is life, subject to decay. They worked well with the partially rough and jagged walls of eyedrum.

The rings also gave a person slight disorientation while entering the gallery, as he put them on the floor as well. Not knowing where the ceiling, floor and walls were, as these rings ran throughout…over, under and around the gallery.

I am very happy to have been a part of such a refreshingly creative group exhibition, filled with music, visual art, living creatures, plants, lighting, costumes, neon and performance art! An asset to Atlanta’s “art scene!”

image Here is a little section of a very large painting I am working on for my April solo exhibition in New York. It is acrylic right now but soon will have a coat of oil paint to enrich the surface.

Copyright 2015 Hollis HIldebrand-Mills All Rights Reserved

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Orion Crook is also an artist. He approached me in the Spring of this year, asking me to be a part of an exhibition he was in the midst of curating called, “Living Case.” He came to me, having seen my installation, “Afloat,” on the internet: the one I did for Ceres Gallery in New York’s Chelsea area. He was attracted to the one hundred squishy rings I made for my show.

Although this is a group show, and he is working with many artists, he is holding true to his vision of the organic flow of life and death. Of growth and decay.

Living Case
eyedrum Art and Music Gallery
88 Forsyth St SW
Atlanta, GA 30303.

August 15 – September 5, 2015
Opening reception:
August 15, 2015
7PM-10PM

Come out and support this event. It will be like nothing you have ever seen!

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2015 All Rights Reserved

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As you can see, the pallet is in shades of pink. My usual: Dark to light, bright to dull. I can’t say that this sojourn back into the metaphysical world of painting is easy. It’s incredibly hard work. But so far, after the struggle and the dread. The knocking over the paint bucket and the general awkwardness of it all, it is finally giving back to me. The work is giving back to ME! This is why I keep going.

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Above is a photograph of my art studio in town, all cleaned up and ready for work! The accumulation of wooden stretcher frames, at the far side of the big table on the right is waiting for me to stretch canvas over them. My next solo show is in New York, April, 2016.

This past year has been rough for me. My mother died four days before Christmas. The darkest time of the year. Our sweet daughter left for college in the fall.

I aptly named this section of my blog, “Piece Of My Heart.” And have written things such as “Vince Vaughn Bought My Daughter’s Prom Dress”, “The Shredding Skirt” and “Pie O Logy.” I did get carried away, and may continue to do so.

Even though it has only been a few months, I think, “Did I really tell the world about the mining accident?” (Now, now. I did not say it was I who had the relative who took one step back too far!) I could use some relatives now. Some relatives who will stretch my canvases and tell me what a good a painter I am!

I have thought about giving up the blog. But I enjoy it so much.

Although you might think i should post my painting in progress, ( and I may do so from time to time ), I would rather keep each post an artwork unto itself. Painting is totally separate from the keyboard.

I need to get back to work.

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All rights reserved

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Collage by Hollis HIldebrand-Mills/ Oscar Statuette courtesy of AMPAS

“If you build it, they will come.” – A quote from the movie “Field Of Dreams.” I am a believer in my ability to make things happen.

I could give you many examples of how I manifest my dreams. If a person is certain something will happen, and is focused enough on the goal, the subconscious mind will make it so.

A recent example of this: Although I am allergic to cats, I love them. Disregarding the allergist’s advice, I had two cats for many years, until they both died of old age. I have been catless for fifteen years. With a friend the other night, she told me Siamese cat dander is different – I would not be allergic to Siamese cats! And suddenly the possibility of having another cat was there!

A few days later, I was downstairs, hanging the remaining unsold collages from my “Afloat” show. They had been stored in boxes at my studio and I wanted to enjoy them. I looked out the window and there was a Siamese cat coming up the steps from our woods! I practically fell off the ladder! No! Not again! Have I manifested this?

You long-time blogger friends know that Vince Wiggins and I collaborated to make my animated video, “Bread In The Sky.” Not totally believing it, skeptical, of course, but all the same, together we have been occasionally visualizing winning an Academy Award for our video. (In the category of Best Animated Short Film.) Yes, a far flung dream. Yes, a long shot. Even so, he and I were at it again recently and we visualized the entire red carpet thing. A few times. We got to the place where we each brought our Oscars home. Vince knew exactly where he was going to place his statuette. But there, I was uncertain. I did not know where I would put mine. Did this mean I do not want an Academy Award? I mean, come on! Everyone wants an Oscar! Or did it mean I just cannot imagine (literally) receiving the highest award in the world for a short film? I mean, really, “Bread In The Sky?” It would certainly shock the art critic who gave it a bad review! The critic told me a few months later that after seeing it again, it was the projection room I built that made him feel claustrophobic. It tainted his opinion. He rewrote the original review in a slightly more positive light.

I am not saying that work does not help make your dreams come true. That projection room was not easy to build. Not to mention the months of tedious animation time I put in for that 17 minute film. Anyone who has ever done this knows. But where to place Oscar? Do I want this? Me not filling in that one important blank…..get this down, folks….. of knowing where I am going to place my statuette, signifies doubt and doubt prevents manifestation. Do I want to win an Academy Award?

I have not seen the cat lately. He must have a home. Or, because I have bronchitis, the cat will not appear. Intentions. Do they affect the outcome of the dreams in your life?

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

IMG_2652People are talking about the jealousy they feel when they look at Facebook. Some are deactivating their Facebook accounts to save themselves the “drama.” The drama, of course, being the envy they feel, of not being able to afford to go to the beach, not having a relationship, not getting married, not having kids, whatever. Not having a beautiful job!

It is well known that only the high points of peoples’ lives are presented there. So why are we jealous when someone is smiling behind a Pina Colada?

I think it is because we are desensitized, due to the everyday assault of images coated in glamour. Reality TV has become a standard. We accept it as real. Reality TV came about when no one was around to write screenplays for television shows. There was a writers strike going on at the time. It was cheap, plotless broadcasting. And remains cheap, plotless broadcasting.

Given this, people actually think their ‘friends’ on Facebook are doing better than they are. And the number of ‘likes’ are there to prove it.

I guess it makes sense to brag about your child’s accomplishments rather than talk about how much yeast medicine you have to use due to a long term prescription of antibiotics. Or while you had the flu, the nearest place to vomit was a trash can right outside the movie theatre. Granite countertops do not barf, yell at their kids, have nosebleeds or smear jelly all over their jeans. We all want granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and sunken sinks with “OMG! I can’t believe it!”

Is a selfie of those people taken, straining out from a line at the pharmacy of, say, six people? Or, better yet, a selfie taken of the pharmacist and the sick person? How many ‘likes’ would a person get there?

Because real life is not Facebook. Real life is not Reality TV. And those people who seem to have everything, do not. They just don’t take photographs of themselves when they are wiping a stain off their shirt, eating chips and salsa. The people on Facebook pose for those Facebook pictures, iphone clicking away, with a face they think looks best on them.

A face that looks like they have everything too!

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

DSCN0771We as a family were bumming around New York as we usually do, going to bookstores and thrift stores, stopping here and there, soaking in all the wonderfulness of Manhattan. I cannot remember the year, but our daughter was probably between six and ten at the time. Not quite up to my shoulder.

We were in SoHo, and happened upon a lovely neighborhood, as they all are in SoHo. We walked up the stairs to a consignment store. Or used clothing store, more aptly.

I picked out a particular shirt to try on. It was only $16.95. As I was in the dressing room, I tried on the simple gray plaid shirt. I honestly did not like the way it looked on me, nor did I have anything to go with it. I decided to put it back. As I was taking it off, regretting that I had to actually reject something to wear, (God forbid) I looked at the price tag. It was $1695.00!!! I silently said, “Yikes!”

I opened the curtain and the entire staff working in the store surrounded me. I merely said, “I didn’t have anything to go with it!”

We descended the stairs, walked down the block and I told my husband and daughter what happened. We wondered about the origins of such a shirt, (a celebrity owned it?Perhaps Madonna?) It looked rather worn. But in any event, (as my mother would say), we were aware that the workers in the store wanted to see who was behind the curtain trying on this plaid shirt!

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

images I was told I would have bad karma.

A member of my family is not speaking to another member of the family. This has been going on for years. Rather than go into the drama of why she is not speaking to her, the family member just says, “She died in a mining accident!”

No further questions are asked. A look of horror passes over the questioner’s face and the subject is dropped.

We all thought this was best, since it really is boring to talk about family members’ wrong doings and such. And to play the victim is ridiculous. No one in my family is a victim. We may seek council from an attorney once in a while, but we are never victims.

One school day in the fall of fifth grade, our daughter was questioned about this family member as in, “Do you have any relatives living close by?” Our daughter answered, “Well, we did, but she died in a mining accident.” The teacher was not put off. He asked what mine. Our daughter said she did not know.

Since then we have filled in the blanks for everyone in our family, so that this second question does not throw us. Usually we just have to say, “She took one step back too far!”

Copyright  Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014  All rights Reserved