Archives for posts with tag: Atlanta artist

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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

wrestling 1

Wrestling. The distillation of good and evil. There is a good guy and a bad guy.

I have a good friend who is a wrestler. I went to one of his matches the other night and I was totally engrossed. Rolls of unravelling toilet paper and crepe paper tossed into the ring. Neon mohawks, tattoos, boos and hisses. Large blubbery thumps and noisy crashes. Flips and other acrobatics. Primitive, you say? It was wonderful.

Good and bad. Not so in real life? My new discovery is, that, even as the managers in the wrestling company do not enter the ring without knowing how to take a fall, the same is true with life. After years of seeing the character flaws in people and sorting through the many nuances, I have come to this conclusion: You are either good or bad.

Take a look at what I consider good. My doctor changes out of his Halloween costume during a crazy party and even though it is in the middle of the night, he makes an emergency house call. Good. The friend next door listens to my woes, hearing me tell the same story again and again. Good. The fellow artist shares her own techniques, gallery contacts and juried show opportunities. Good. The person at the grocery store when my green bean bag breaks. This good person hurries away to the produce section at the back of the store and selects new green beans, clumps at a time. For me! Good.

Ok, you say, where is the bad? And, by the way, I am the one in the ring here, I am only talking about myself and my experiences. I take the falls. I fall against the ropes. These people could be doing nice things for others. But I doubt it. Here we go: The person says good things to me, bad things about me to someone else. Bad. The person lies to me. Bad. One enters my studio, goes through my things, snoops around without my permission. Oh and steals my Booker T. and the MGs disc from my CD player! Bad. You are getting it. One more. A person cheats me in a business deal. Bad. Oh, I used to say, the person is from that type of culture. (Could be this culture.)… That is part of the game. Nope. Not anymore. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Back to wrestling. I go around now, doing the things that cause me to occasionally interact with people and I think of wrestling. No one is passing out rolls of toilet paper for me to stream at the good people.Thank God. And I don’t get the urge to throw a pie in a person’s face here and there. Thank God, again. But, good and bad. It keeps things simple.

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2015 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

IMG_1674Some of the trees in our woods were cut down yesterday. Maybe thirty trees. The tallest one was taller than our house. I felt like it had feelings. The man who owned the arbor company said it was a “weed.” I guess he knew. A lot of pruning was done. And now when you look at our woods, it’s not thick and black like a jungle. Which is good.

He was very knowledgable about the trees. As we made our way into the jungle a day before the buzzsaws and tree shredders started, he pointed out the different varieties of trees by name. I swatted mosquitos. He talked about this one’s leaves being good for making tea. And this one needing to come down because it housed insects that killed the other trees. One, he said, was even struck by lightening!

Among all this learned pointing, was a Southern Coastal monologue about almost everything else. He used the expression, “She was as country as a ham sandwich!” He made me laugh as I itched, wanting to get the heck up the hill to air, daylight and bug spray. He spotted a little patch of something and he said, “That’s a white oak.”

White oaks surrounded The Twin Towers in New York. When we were at The 9/11 Memorial, the permanent one, recently completed, white oaks were replanted around the Memorial. The leaf was used in the museum. Every person killed in the attack was represented with a photograph, several times. Those whose picture could not be found, were assigned a white oak leaf with their name underneath.

I thought about the footprint of the North and South Towers and their massive box like fountains, which is now the Memorial. The space above them remains empty in honor of the people who had worked in those buildings.

Sort of like my tree that used to tower higher than our house. Its spirit still there. But this big empty sky now visible.

Reblog Number Three

Hollis Hildebrand-Mills

Day Sixty-Five/ Image Sixty-Five

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

Here I am again, indulging my fascination with tidal waves. And for those of you who have not been following me and my love of depicting natural disasters, here is a picture of a tidal wave about to wipe out a swimmer.

What I like most about this one is the apparent determination of the swimmer in spite of the tidal wave. She is not letting the fact that a tidal wave is coming deter her from her goal.

This reminds me of all those tasks we dread doing and therefore, we avoid them. If only we did not put them off, we would realize how fast the jobs can be accomplished. It is in procrastinating that we do these tasks more than once. Conceptually doing them over and over, rather than merely marching toward them, like the swimmer.

In our minds…

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Day Sixty-Nine/Image Sixty-Nine

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

The basement studio is almost finished. Everything in it is white. Floor, walls, table, brick wall. I am even spray-painting random “junk” items to reside there. Still keeping my studio downtown, which remains my sanctuary.

Everything is crystal-clear in my studio downtown: focus, attention to detail, ideas. It’s a wonderful space, located in an historical building on the National Historical Building Register. Heat is negligible. And in the summer it’s very hot. Peeling lead wall paint and asbestos flooring (which I covered with particle board.) An earthly place. I can totally relax.

There, the floor and walls are white too, as color is important to me. Do you know that surrounding white extracts a small amount of color out of every color? When I paint there, I make the colors brighter. When work is in a gallery, the effect is the same. Hence my desire for white. I wanted to be working on things as they will be seen.

Recently I hung a painting of mine, not too large, maybe 36″ x 48″ in a patron’s (Is that too pretentious?) office. The man has taupe walls and some blue on an adjacent wall. The blue “matched” and the taupe “matched.” It sold the painting. I have to admit, the colors were exactly were the same. My purist preference would have been, to have him appreciate the artwork on its own, which he truly did. But the matching, well you know….. To sell a painting is so wonderful, but to sell one appreciated on its own terms is even better.

Again, white is everywhere. To keep me on the right path.

Day Sixty-Eight//Image Sixty-Eight

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show

I am transitioning out of my present blog format for a very good reason: Showing the 100 collages in my current blog format is coming to a close. (We are on “Sixty-Eight”) To make the transition easier, (soon) , I am planning to blog about other art-related things interspersed with continuing to post the “Afloat” collages until I reach the 100. I will ease out of the front and center visual and few paragraphs of copy into something else.

I have a fear of boring my present followers. I am taking a risk. First, I have tried to keep my blog short. And primarily visual. People do not have time now to do anything but scan.

I am scheduled for another solo show in 2015. A solo show requires me to spend at least an entire year to bring it to its conclusion.

In addition to planning what I will do for the blog, I must first plan what I will do for the show.

And part of the blog material will come from experiences with my new studio and my old studio. Successes and challenges with technique and subject matter, (I’ll keep problems with people to a minimum), materials, time, commuting back and forth for supplies and to work.

I won’t show any finished work, I don’t think. Since the exhibition is for that. I will focus on experience and process. Even in my “Afloat” blog, where I showed finished pieces, I described process and sometimes I drifted into memories. This too will happen. I doubt it will be a “How to Put Together a Solo Show” type of thing. I’ll just see how it goes.

I am not ready to break away from these little collages yet, however.

Day Twenty-Six/Image Twenty-Six

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

Day Nine/Image Nine

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York Solo Show.

This one is shown in its exhibition frame. I am back in town and have access to all my photos. This was intentionally done as a “Close-Encounters” thing. The traveling lights in the distance. About to land.

These collages evolved from the whimsical idea of cutting up magazines and seeing what I could do with no paint involved, as I was accustomed to using. I did one, then two. I had so much fun just “playing” (always hating that expression when it comes to artwork, because art is hard WORK.)

My solo show loomed ahead and subject matter was undecided.

I had been working on a video. I worried about focusing only on the video for the show. Working under pressure is never good. And doing animation is meticulous. Being meticulous and being nervous don’t go together.

I decided to continue with these collages, thinking “Oh, I am having so much FUN, it will be easy to RELAX and do them….100 of them….for the solo show.”

I should not admit this, but looking back, I really don’t think making them was FUN. All principles of doing art were involved. And certainly, when I hit 26, after slaving away, the rest seemed to be a torturous number. Looming in the distance.

Much like these space crafts about to land.