hilary@millsgallery.com
925-708-6497

About the Artist


Growing up in the town of George Inness in Montclair, New Jersey, Hilary was exposed to many aesthetic events. Her parents were leaders in the art, furniture, interiors, exteriors and garden businesses. Everything beautiful was of great importance. Small wonder that Hilary started painting at a very young age. Living 15 miles outside of Manhattan, both the Metropolitan and Frick Museums were regular family trips, as well as the National Arts Club.

Vermont was the family vacation home— full of forests, mountains and streams. Many of the neighbors were professional artists from Boston and New York who summered and painted in Vermont.

Hilary’s godfather, Tom Dibble, lived in Vermont. He was a professional artist and naturalist who inspired her to love and paint the outdoors. Currently Hilary runs plein air workshops in Vermont each summer.

Vermont neighbors, the emminent artists Richard Schmid and his wife, Nancy Guzik, invite Hilary to join them when visiting from California and paint with their Putney Painters group. It is a great professional honor to be associated with the Putney Painters group.

Attending Ithaca College, Hilary was exposed to teachers who were disciples of Timothy Leary. As the quote goes “… you must turn on, tune in and drop out.” It was a period in the art of our country where classical realism was thrown under the painted hippie bus. Mandelas and soul searching were the rigors of the day. Since perspective was not taught, Hilary proceeded to teach it to herself. Lots and lots of art history became the spring board for the far ranging art appreciation Hilary brings to her work today.

After graduation Hilary headed for Manhattan and took at night many classes in figure drawing at the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts. Over the years during the day she held administrative positions at Sotheby’s and Glamour Magazine. Finding the necessity to build a portfolio for commercial art jobs, she went back to school and received a MS from Pratt Institute. Armed with this degree, she successfully worked in the computer games business for years. A computer job at Sesame Street inspired the frogs.

Three kids later, all graduated from college, and a marriage still intact, Hilary moved from computers to other areas of art. She completed an MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has been teaching in the school system of Lafayette, California.

More recently, Hilary has undergone specialized training at the Golden Gate Atelier  in Oakland, working with Andrew Ameral.  Andy has the best training from the Florence Academy in time honored techniques for effectively describing light on form. Andy has helped me to unify and expand my previous training and skills into a stronger approach and personal style of which I am very proud.