Archives for posts with tag: ideas

IMG_0536Look at the nice looking couple above. They were our next door neighbors. They left last week to move into a new house. Over the nineteen years we’d lived next door to each other, we became friends. We knew each other’s family secrets. We were in and out of each other’s houses. The one time I actually passed out due to drinking too much, it was when Ed (names have been changed) mixed martinis going down like water. I was on my feet and then I wasn’t. We acted like we were twenty. Eating cookies and brownies with untold ingredients. Drinking wine and OTC Wild Indian Cherry Bark Cough Syrup into the night. Dancing in each other’s basements, (Linda was from Philly too) decorated with lava lamps and disco lights. Yes we will miss them.

When we first moved into the neighborhood, I was skeptical. Both my husband and I had lived in “Intown Atlanta” for so long, I had the prejudice that those who live in Intown Atlanta have, that somehow Intown is a so much more diverse, culturally aware place to live. That the suburbs are boring and very “white male”. Our neighborhood may not be typical of the suburbs, but diversity here means more than having a lesbian living across the street.

In addition to gay couples owning several of the homes here, you practically need a passport to enter. Not that there is a gate at the entrance. There isn’t. People who live here are from all over the world. Our dog smells the incense from the Indian woman walking far down the sidewalk before I even see her in her sari. Three generations of Chinese people live in the house a few down from ours. Iraqi males still live across the way. Nigerian, Israeli, Colombian, Russian neighbors. I think Doug and I, along with our boogying friends next door were the only English speaking people living in this area. I am exaggerating, but you get the idea.

Anyway, we bonded with Linda and Ed. Ed even helped me put up sheetrock walls at the former location of Eyedrum Gallery when I built the projection room for my video, “Bread In The Sky.” The small gallery was hard to split into two spaces, but Ed made it happen. Linda accompanied me to New York City once when business demanded I go on short notice. She and I go to lunch frequently, which I hope will continue even though they don’t live here anymore. Their friendship means a lot to Doug and me. They will never be replaced. It was one of those times, when, we knew what we had when we had it. And not until after it was gone.


A friend of mine on Instagram recently asked me about my art rituals. The things I do to get into the frame of mind to work. I decided to write a blog post about it, since it couldn’t easily be put into a list. And being obsessive compulsive, I had to get it right.

Working at a studio 45 minutes from my home (although I have a second studio in my basement- another story-another set of rituals) I live in a culturally different place from the tattoo/piercing and cannabis servicing places – the little section of town where my “in town” studio is located. This space is in an old school house, built in the very early 1900s. I have an entire classroom to myself. I have painted the floors white to match the walls.

To get to my studio, I switch my thinking over to work. I take the backroads, never the freeway. When I get there, I open the door, take the dehumidifier down the hall to empty it, since I have no running water, turn off the fume eliminator, and take my jewelry off. I place rings around my watchband, fasten it and put bracelets in a formica tan/brown patchwork salad bowl on my long table. This is the table where I sit to contemplate the work I am doing at the time. The work is always about 15 feet in front of the table, on an easel. There is a row of waist high big tables beside the easel, upon which I put the paints, glass palette for working in oil paint, many containers of acrylic paints, assorted meat trays and yogurt containers for mixing the acrylic paints with plastic spoons. There are mediums and brushes and a huge plastic bucket for water, which I keep on the floor. I have to go down the hall to fill this, if I am working in water based paints that day. I always stand to paint. I never use a stool or table.

I believe that I am a channel for the work I do. I believe it does not come from me, but from something outside myself. Therefore, to achieve entry into this parallel universe, I put on some music made by someone who also believes a “zone” has to be reached in order to do good work. The music has to be loud.

Then I start mixing. I start painting. Moving back and forth to and away from the canvas. Pausing, usually, only for a lunch I have made and placed in the refrigerator next to the microwave. Always with a Diet Coke. Sometimes I will sit at the long table and spend time looking. Sometimes I can look for an hour. Sometimes, I get up suddenly and paint a piece of paper and place it temporarily over an area in the painting, before I commit to painting that color on the canvas. Most of the time, I glue the magazine pieces on the canvas as if they are paint, sometimes painting over them, sometimes leaving them alone. Squeegy-ing the glue out from under the magazine paper with a small triangle. And wiping the remainder off with a baby wipe.

After cleaning up, (down the hall), I turn out the lights and start the long drive home. I usually am very tired, and for a while, there was a specific intersection in Atlanta where I routinely had an anxiety attack. For many years, I avoided this intersection by going miles out of my way. Or stopping to ground myself in some store for re-entry into the “real” world. Now that intersection has no power over me. I think, though, it should have a sign that says, “End of Right Brain Thinking…You Are Now Entering The Suburbs. Be Sure To Get Yourself Together. NOW.”

Copyright 2017 Hollis Hildebrand-Mills All Rights Reserved

Day Eighty-Six/Image Eighty-Six

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

The collage above looks like a farmer‘s hands proudly presenting his crop’s output.
I never thought of this before, but looking at it now, it reflects that expression “Manna From Heaven.”

Maybe because the arms of the person are all that is seen; the produce seems to be given freely. No strings.

A lot of artists and musicians believe the Universe is talking to them all the time, giving them creative ideas. Michael Jackson and Prince were both spiritual people. And they liked this idea of the Universe handing out ideas. Michael Jackson told the press once, when he was asked how he maintained his strong work ethic? He had to listen very carefully, lest The Universe give his ideas to Prince.

I wonder how Prince feels now about keeping these ideas to himself?

Printed Matter

Beautiful storefront window of an Artist’s Book Store in New York. Ideas come from everywhere.