Archives for posts with tag: New York


First off, I am very pleased I chose to exhibit THE CROSS SERIES. I think it was my best show. The nine pieces fit nicely in the gallery. The horizontal cross bars of the crosses lined up at the same level, to enable the eye to transition the corners of the space smoothly. I hung the paintings low, so as to illustrate the direct correlation between the viewer and the vertical section in each piece. I think it worked!

I enjoyed the feedback. Although I was only present for half the time during the run of the show, and I missed a very important members meeting, where I would have received direct feedback, the word of mouth was wonderful! Stefany Benson, the gallery director told me that she would overhear pieces of conversation, indicating only positive reactions.

One significant reaction was from one of two of the most important art critics in New York: Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic for New York Magazine. He “liked” two of my posts on Instagram. I posted paintings on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, my Facebook page and on my blog here on WordPress from the show during the exhibition’s run, knowing my work would be publicized in the twenty-first century way. But I had no idea someone as important and influential would respond. When I thanked him on Instagram for “liking” my work on the two posts, he “liked” the thank you post as well, a post of a different painting from the series!

My mission with my art has always been to aim as high as I can. My ability will restrict me to the level where I am meant to settle. But the attempt to create the highest art and stick to the purist art I am capable of, is my goal. Sales? At the closing, where I was present, brokers on video chat were roaming around taking video and discussing my paintings with their clients. Who knows?

But for now, Jerry Saltz has me feeling guilty for not working on my new stuff. Pretty much all the time. Isn’t that a good feeling?

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

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

Pearls From Hong Kong

When my husband and I went over to China to get our daughter, before we flew to Shanghai and then on to Hefei, we went to a jewelry store in Hong Kong. This was the last year Hong Kong was under British rule. 1996.

We watched as a woman artfully strung pearls for our soon-to-be daughter. We envisioned gifting them when she reached age sixteen.

Sixteen came, fraught with teaching her how to drive a stick shift. (Never once did I grab the wheel, although I prepared for a crash once, thinking we were going to hit a telephone pole.) Also drama at sixteen was so great, as to make us hesitant to give her such a lovely gift.

This year, however, at graduation from High School, she received these pearls with a knot tied in between each one. The knots representing the knots in our stomachs as we flew military flights into the interior of the country. Happy music and the nose of the plane pointed straight upward. Hot wet towels handed out. And the nose of the plane thrust downward upon landing. More happy music. Knots for each of the ten planes. And knots for the anxiety we had at becoming parents.

It was the best thing we have ever done. To adopt our daughter. And the best thing we will ever do.

“Out Of Order”

I am an artist. I do not assume this photograph to be a work of art. I was in a store yesterday. And my daughter was in the dressing room. I decided to take a seat outside the dressing rooms on a platform. Couldn’t even be called a bench.

A dressing room with an “Out Of Order “ sign on it?? I thought about it as my daughter was changing her clothes.

Well, it could be, that if one were to open the door, disregarding the sign, that there was an elevator shaft on the other side of the door and one would plummet to one’s death. After all, what could be “Out of Order?” Could it be flickering flourescent lights reminiscent of a David Lynch movie? So minor. Had to be something more dangerous like a mine shaft. On the other side of that door.

Okay, we all know by now, that certain phrases are used willy nilly, like “One Moment Please”, “Have A Nice Day”, “No Problem”, “Fill Out The Form,” “Please Sign.” (As you are grappling with five things in your hands, stuffing your credit card back in your wallet, spilling your sunglasses to the floor.) Then again, when you don’t sign right away as you are picking up your shattered sunglasses, again it comes, “Please Sign!”

I wonder if this “Out Of Order” sign means the end of the world is on everyone’s mind? Or another phrase put up there with no thought whatsoever. After all, they put “Out Of Order” signs on bathroom stalls, don’t they?

My car. My precious Honda. It is old but it is special. So special, in fact, that every time I drive it, someone asks me if I will sell it.

My car was hit by some obnoxious person. Hit in a mall parking lot on private property. Which, no police officer can assign guilt or liability to either party involved in the accident.

My car is not mine anymore. I have to go to a lawyer to get it back. My fear is, that it is in a place where everyone wants to drive it and claim it as their own.

Say a prayer for Frostie. Although he is nineteen years old, he is not used to spending the night away from home.

Whizzing by the other night, I saw a dog with a light on its collar. It was designed for the dog to see where it was going in the darkness. Just loose enough to move with the dog. Just tight enough so that the light didn’t swing and sway to confuse the puppy.

I have never seen these lights for dogs. Then I thought of SkyMall, the inflight magazine on airplanes. (which, by the way, was where I ordered my dog repellent device.) SkyMall, of course, is now online.

SkyMall is the best magazine for obscure and interesting “things.” An “It Is what It Is” inscribed bracelet. Really, people say that all the time: what does it MEAN? A scalp massaging shampoo brush. (Shown with water showering down on a head in the photograph) Stretchy wearable posture aids, a floating desk (with storage), phone mounters for the car, iPhone printers and so much more.You can see why these magazines are on the airplane. Why worry about lousy inflight service when there is SkyMall?

Have you ever tried to solve a mystery? Something in your daily life you can’t quite figure out, but you have a gut feeling about? Have you combined your intuition with some facts surrounding the situation and BAM! you have it the solution. Or have you? Has this ever happened to you?

The Chinese say that intuition is a “second brain”, physically located in your stomach. Hence the “gut feeling” expression.

Most people do not trust their intuition enough! When I try to solve a problem using my intuition, it feels like stepping out on a cloud, walking off a plank, taking a shot at something. It feels a little strange. People think they need facts alone to solve problems and mysteries. That to use intuition could not possible be sound.

But, as I said in the first paragraph, I put some facts with my intuition and…..well, I can solve almost anything. Can you?

Phones. We all have cells. I like those. But the land or “home” phones as they are called, bring with them terrible sales and political calls. The phone rings. We rush to the phone to answer and we get the dreaded waste-of-energy call.

Therefore, it was during a very high stress time in my life, (when is it not?) I asked my husband to make the home phones not ring. Yes, we could call out, but no one could call us at home. To reach us, they would just have to call our cells. We told ourselves we were keeping the land phones for emergencies.

No problem. We had a vast assortment of Motorola, T-mobile and Panasonic phones littering our house. And he timed the ring systems so that the phones didn’t ring. Quiet.

Stress began again when we switched phone carriers. My husband got mad at one of the customer service reps (They will elevate your blood pressure) and out, we yanked ourselves. Oh yes. It caused a great deal of trouble. New internet provider. Had to be installed by coming to the house, new home phone provider, all having to be redone. Our security system in our home was affected too, because we have the older version, the kind that runs through the phone lines. Even our cells, although upgraded for free, were paid for with an eight hour wait to transfer pictures and such.

We were in the store the other day picking out new home phones and my husband said, “All this, for phones that don’t ring?”

We had an ice storm here in Atlanta this past winter. Not a nice storm. Put the separation between the words in the right place. Ice storm. You know the one. We, in Atlanta, looked like fools on TV and the internet.

The storm I am writing about (We actually had two.) started out as a snow storm. Just like any other. But the traffic! Lord, the traffic! And the slipping and sliding!

A person lost his life. A baby was born. It took the average person to move at the rate of one eighth of a mile per hour. If that.

Yes, there was heroism. We Americans always go for that when reporting such horrors. My husband was in his car along with the rest of Atlantans, arriving at his intended destination. He had to turn around because the person he was dropping off at the bus….well, the buses were not running. It took him an hour to turn around and he got home at midnight. He had been driving for twelve hours. To go ten miles. To the bus and home. Ten miles roundtrip.

Because people were frustrated in the crazy traffic, a lot of people left their cars and walked that night. The next day, cars were strewn all over expressways and backroads, abandoned like discarded toys on Christmas Day. It looked like The Rapture or a science fiction movie.

No, my husband did not spend the night in the shelter of a grocery store, using feminine products as a pillow. No, he did not experience the terror of being disconnected from our child because he had no idea if she was at the school or not. No, he did not spend the night in his car with no one knowing, due to a drained charge in his cell.

But it was awful.