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IMG_6693.JPGOff and and running with my new painting series! It’s a series about memories of my clothes. I remember events in my life and the clothes I was wearing at the time. Doesn’t have to be a special occasion. It’s just a little filing system I have going on. Mention a time we were together or a place I visited and I know exactly what I was wearing.

I have finished the first painting. I was humbled and honored when, once again, Jerry Saltz, Senior Art Critic for New York Magazine “liked” the painting on Instagram. I was thrilled! He has 160K followers! How could it be possible he really liked my painting? I continue to marvel at that thought.

Above is the first painting. It is 26″ x 36″. Acrylic, oil, paper, sharpie and charcoal on canvas.

A dear blogger friend of mine believes that every work of art needs to have a title. She is not the only one. A lot of people believe this is necessary to guide the viewer into the work. For years, I was vehemently against this, spewing on and on about how visual art is a visual thing and a title would be contrary to the experience, etc. But recently I had a change of heart. I thought, if I make up my titles at the computer when I am about to send my jpegs off to a juried exhibition or grant application, why not have a little fun with it? Not just “Yellow Flower” (as I am scrounging around in my brain for some written connection to what I am looking at on the computer screen.) I am making up the title anyway.

This first painting’s title is, “Dress Me, I’m Your Mannequin.” I got a smile at the computer! And maybe the viewer can see the abstraction with thoughts of hangers and clothing in mind.



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?

Ceres Gallery
547 W27 Street
Suite 201
New York, NY 10001

My exhibition in the Chelsea section of New York is still going on, receiving high praise. I will be returning soon for a closing reception on the last day of the show: Saturday, May 21st. I will be there from 1PM- 4PM.


Another photograph from my solo exhibition in New York. This one includes two paintings on the right side of the gallery. Again the show is up until May 21st. If you are in the area, “The Cross Series” is at 547 W27 Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. Phone: 212. 947. 6100. The hours: Tuesday -Saturday 12PM-6PM, Open until 8PM Thursday. The gallery director is Stefany Benson. If you go to my show, please introduce yourself!



               Copyright     Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2016     All Rights Reserved

IMG_5895This is not the first time I have associated with the shipping company, US ART. The art handling company has hauled off lots of my work to various shows, to all parts of Manhattan. Poughkeepksie, College Station, Texas and Tuscon, Arizona. The times I haven’t used their services have turned out in disaster. One of my paintings wound up at someone’s house in North Georgia, where, if I had not taped my business card to the back, I would have never seen it again. Another time, some toys were sent to me, my painting, gone.

US ART has gone a little overboard with my stuff. For good reason, I found out. Some of the drivers from the refrigerated blue eighteen wheeler wear white gloves to carry my work out. Some act very nervous, looking out the window at the truck below my studio window. Since I am in the habit of talking to everyone anyway, I discovered, while chatting up the packer, that my volcano painting was resting next to a Matisse. They take good care.

1. Gabriel.jpgAbove is the signature image for all publicity, concerning my upcoming New York show. I am exhibiting a select group of paintings from my series, “The Cross Series.”

The group totals nine paintings, each 4’ x 6’. The work is basically abstract, as you can see, with the cross as a grid, anchoring the abstraction.

As I say in my press release, “The cross is the most basic of symbols, primitive, in that it coincidentally represents vertical man/woman standing in a horizontal world… The possibly religious content of the paintings takes a back seat to the form. The cross does not merely belong to Christianity.”

Still, the icon looms powerful enough to be incongruous with the sometimes street art and wild posting-like abstraction.

It has been a long haul, my sweet blog followers. I started out doing a series of work based on my association with my clothes and my memories. I even completed several paintings and a few drawings, using this theme. And I am not ditching it. I have decided to return to it after my New York show. BUT, with a method of painting very much like the painting above. I think I had to do the “Cross Series” first and hit my stride, then return to a personal theme like clothing/memories. The work I previously did on the clothing series was far too figurative, not enough depth and a tad illustrative. I was unhappy with it and the work dragged on and on. No enthusiasm.

If you are in the area, the show opens Tuesday, April 26th. The reception for me is Thursday, April 28th. from 6-8 PM. It is at Ceres Gallery, 547 W 27th Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10001. It will be up for about three weeks, coming down May 21st.

I am in the process of working on my website. My website needs updating. It still has “Afloat” as my current work. I use collage in “The Cross Series” also, but with paint, (oil and acrylic) charcoal and pencil. It seems that collage has become my life’s work, having used it with video, paint or strictly cut paper from magazines.

I had a friend in art school who called me the Queen Of The Nonsequitur. I think my love of collage has something to do with that: mixing pieces normally not together, making things work.

Copyright 2016 Hollis Hildebrand-Mills All Rights Reserved

Photograph courtesy of Tom Meyer Photography


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

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.