Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | December 7, 2012

Hill Design + Gallery Ideabook on Houzz

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | December 6, 2012

Deconstruction: Group Art Exhibition at Hill Design + Gallery

Deconstruction – to dissasemble an object or concept and reassemble in a new and evocative way.

The concept of Deconstruction is derived from a literary technique used to interpret texts based on a philosophy of language and meaning. Deconstructive Postmodernism in art and architecture is about forcing the viewer of the artwork to question their assumptions about what “art” is…about who and what and how art is created…how it is received. We can better understand the sum of the work by examining the many pieces that make up the whole. Our Deconstruction Exhibition dissects the concepts of beauty and truth in order to define these concepts in a different way…to come to a greater understanding of the piece of artwork as a whole. Beauty and truth in art may be relative.

The artists and their work exhibited as a part of Hill Design + Gallery’s Deconstruction Exhibition – Will Blair, Jan Knox, Pamela Lamoureux and Shannon Yarbrough – pose many questions about the nature of art and beauty and what is true of both.

Is beauty found in what’s left behind when paint is subtracted from a surface…such as the deconstructive painting technique employed by artsits Pamela Lamoureux and Shannon Yarbrough?

Will truth be found in the “Unraveling of Self” by Pamela Lamoureux?

Must a piece of artwork fit within the boundaries of a canvas or picture frame? Or, as in Jan Knox’s “The Water Cycle”, can we label these multiple pieces of paper clipped to a string artwork?

Consider the work of Will Blair. Is beauty the simplification of recognizable forms into abstract shapes using spray paint and wax?

As we deconstuct and analyze the different aspects of technique, subject matter and presentation in these artists’ works; as we formulate answers to the questions posed; we come to a greater understanding of the artwork as a whole. When we understand the concepts behind the work and the process involved in the creation, our appreciation of the work is magnified.

Amanda Still, Hill Design + Gallery

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | March 24, 2012

Artist Statement by Joanne M Ehly

“My works explore surfaces developed through color, texture, pattern, repetition and are the direct result of the materials and techniques I use. Despite this, I am often asked what my media is. It is simple…I make paper. It is what I do to the paper, however, that is important to me.

My career background in art was academia.  During a 24 year profession as a college art instructor, I taught classes ranging from Fine Art studio courses to the Decorative Arts, Graphic Design, Architecture, Art Appreciation and Art History. For better or worse, this resulted in me being a generalist without an art of my own until now.  As an undergraduate, my formal studies were in the Fine Arts. My graduate studies centered more around the Decorative Arts, specifically surface textile design. These two directions in the arts, Fine versus Decorative, have always influenced my work and have finally fused in the works I now produce. 

In the Fine Arts there is the love of making a mark, applying color, manipulating material and having it evolve into meaningful illusionary expression.  In the Decorative Arts there is a strong influence of the formal elements of design. The formal and the con-textual elements co exist in all the visual arts, however in my work it is natural for me to emphasize the formal elements of art over content.  

It was about ten years or more ago that I began to focus on making low relief paper and applying color to the surfaces. At first I was limited by the size paper my press could produce.  Two things began to emerge to increase dimension. One, I utilized framing as an extension of the paper. Two, I started joining several sheets of paper to create larger works.  I am often asked how much time does it take to produce one of my works. Size, detail, layering all play a part as does the fact that paper making is inherently a craft and therefore labor intensive. I love that part of making art. Sometimes it is referred to as all hands, no head.  Each step in the process whether from the hands or the head affects the whole. When the whole finally works, it is done.

Making Art is very Gestalt at its optimum.  Viewers always seem to want to know, especially if the work is non-objective, what it means personally to the artist.  For me the answer comes from years of teaching. It is an essential fact that every work of art whether it deals with some illusion of nature or is purely non objective has at its basis in the formal elements of design and is a direct result of the materials and techniques the artist uses.

I no longer care if what I do is considered art or craft. I hope for a fusion of the two as there cannot be great craft without artistry nor great art without craftsmenship. Design, material and technique are what interest me and hope that this is evident as you view my work.

Beyond this…of course, these works have personal meaning to me.  Some evoke humor, some I find spiritual, while others tend to explore a dark side. Some of them are just plain beautiful.  Enjoy my art works through what you bring to them.  They are for the viewer as much as they are for me.

Currently, I live in Georgetown, TX with my husband Ray Ehly.  I thank him for my studio, for tolerating my art production and his understanding of how important it is for me to have to make art.  Profits from my work go to a charitable foundation.”

Artist Statement by Joanne M Ehly; Artwork available through Hill Design + Gallery:

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | December 2, 2011

Artist of the Week: Carol Light

Hill Design + Gallery’s student intern, Christina Hadly, has shared with us her impressions of the artists that are part of our latest exhibition, “Perspectives”.  Christina is an art history student at Southwestern University in Georgetown and offers a wonderful perspective on the gallery artwork.  This post highlights artist Baron Rinehart Wilson.

“As I first walked in the gallery, I was struck by Carol Light’s painting “Swan’s Nest”, which hangs to the right of the main door.  Having taken an Asian art history class in which we extensively explored the way in which landscapes were depicted on chinese hand scrolls, “Swan’s Nest” immediately reminded me of a modern take on Chinese scroll painting.  I love the texture of the papyrus-type paper Carol collages in her works, and not just because it evokes fond memories of making homemade paper in elementary school.  The texture of the paper and its jagged edges gives Carol’s work an appealing, rough, unfinished quality, while the mixed media she uses reminds viewers of the 3D, tactile nature of the original chinese scrolls.

Carol’s diverse portfolio, with its varying degrees of abstraction and realism, is a wonderful depiction of what the artist literally sees in the world around her and a more imaginary or inventive subject matter.  It is this diversity that prevents her work from falling into the trap of predictability.

I also admire the thought provoking and creative titles Carol has given her abstract works.  As a student in an abstract sculpture class a few years ago, titling my abstract works was the most difficult part of the process for me, and the titles I came up with never seemed to satisfy my professor, unfortunately.  I have great respect for Carol’s ability to title works in a way that guides the viewer to an interesting thought process without dictating what they should see in the work.”

Beautifully written by Christina Hadly, Southwestern University student

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | November 16, 2011

Artist of the Week: Baron Wilson, Art + Architecture

Hill Design + Gallery’s student intern, Christina Hadly, has shared with us her impressions of the artists that are part of our latest exhibition, “Perspectives”.  Christina is an art history student at Southwestern University in Georgetown and offers a wonderful perspective on the gallery artwork.  This post highlights artist Baron Rinehart Wilson.

“After reading Baron Rinehart Wilson’s biography and learning of his extensive architectural background, it is surprising to see so many still lifes drawn from nature and depictions of regional landscapes in the artist’s repertoire.  There is only one explicitly architectural painting hanging in the gallery, an anomaly that leads me to hypothesize whether architecture is present in his other paintings, just in more subtle ways.  To me, architecture has always seemed to be much more scientific than other visual arts such as painting and sculpture, with its exacting mathematical calculations and precise measurements.  Last year’s Brown Symposium at Southwestern University explored the links between science and art, so perhaps Baron’s work is a variation on this same theme.

While visiting Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain on a study abroad trip this summer, we were able to explore the artist’s studio and peruse his personal notes, which explained how Gaudi drew from mathematical structures he witnessed in nature and used these naturally occurring motifs as inspiration for his fantastical architecture.  The existence of so many nature-inspired paintings in Baron’s collection remind me of Gaudi.  Perhaps he and Baron are one and the same, both using the existence of natural structures and mathematical patterns in nature to inform their architecture.  Specifically, Baron’s Deep Creek Series seems evocative of architectural structures; while his fence series, which depicts wooden fences standing at attention in front of pastures, is an exploration in structure, stability, and the differences in wear over time in regard to man-made objects versus natural objects – upon closer inspection, these fence posts are in fact dilapidated, worn with age, and starting to fall apart.

On a side note, I am struck by how the color gradation of Baron’s paintings mimics the physical shape of the canvas and love how this technique gives each work a personal frame built into the canvas, eliminating the need for an exterior frame.”

Beautifully written by Christina Hadly, Southwestern University student

Hill Design + Gallery’s student intern, Christina Hadly, has shared with us her impressions of the artists that are part of our latest exhibition, “Perspectives”. Christina is an art history student at Southwestern University in Georgetown and offers a wonderful perspective on the gallery artwork. This post highlights artist Xan Sinclair Koonce.

“The references Xan makes to abstract expressionism in her artist statement are readily apparent upon viewing her work. The canvases immediately evoke thoughts of large-color field paintings from the likes of Rothko and Pollock from the pinnacle of American Abstract Expressionism. Her paintings have an awareness of paint on canvas, and the brush strokes draw attention to themselves as physical marks on the canvas, reminding viewers that there are in fact human hands involved in the creation of artworks. Sometimes it is easy to forget that creating a work of art is a physical, laborious process and that an artist’s creative genuius in not just immediately poured onto a canvas.

This semester at Southwestern University, I am currently enrolled in an art history class titled, “Art Since 1945″, in which we explore the many artistic styles and dilemmas the world has seen since the mid-20th century. Xan’s work calls to mind class discussions on the gendered nature of abstract expressionism and its depictions of masculinity. Recently, art historians have begun to recognize that abstact expressionism was a male dominated field which was dismissive of woment’s credibility as artists and used extremely large canvases with massive physical presence to support the atist’s own masculinity. Obviously, Xan is a female artist working within the same general parameters as the original male abstract expressionists, creating a very interesting dichotomy in which she is pitted against the masculine, powerful, and strong connotations of the style in which she creates art.

The monumental 20th century art critic, Clement Greenberg, has also come up many times in class. Greenberg handpicked artists to promote and champion; thus, he was almost single-handedly responsible for abstract expressiont artists’ rise to fame and the creation of an American art hero status around artists such as Jackson Pollock. Whilst Pollock and others saw their own art as a psychoanalytic exploration of internal emotions and Carl Jungian ideals, similar to Xan’s statement that her paintings express personal characteristics and a sense of spirituality, Greenberg advocated art for art’s sake and believed in paintings that were self-referential works that should stay perfectly within the limits of a 2D canvas. For me, it is interesting to see this conflict between Greenberg ideals and an artist’s own interpretation still playing out more than a half century later.”

Beautifully written by Christina Hadly, Southwestern University student

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | September 16, 2011

The Role of Color in Art + Design

I am so very familiar with that wonderful sensation one feels when viewing a piece of artwork in which the artist has used just the right color combinations that sing a personal melody to your soul; color combinations that strike such a beautiful balance between intensity, value and temperature.  When I view an interior space with a great accent color that makes the other elements in the space just “pop” in response to the charisma of that color, I know it is good design.   Color is the most personal element of design in any work of art or interior design project.  When combined well with other elements such as texture and form, a drop-dead gorgeous masterpiece is created.   

I believe that color is the foundation upon which great art and design is built.  If one can understand color relationships and the effect that color has on the other design elements, a great design will become a plausible possibility!  These “tricks of the trade”, when using color as the basis of the design, are universal to all artists and designers.

  • Understanding the Color Wheel – The primary colors are red, yellow, blue.  Mixing any two of these colors creates the secondary colors orange, green, violet.  Mixing any of the secondary colors with it’s closest primary will give you red-orange, yellow-orange, blue-green, yellow-green, etc.
  • Contrast – Contrast is important whether a complementary (colors opposite each other on the color wheel) or monochromatic color scheme is used.  Complementary colors are naturally contrasting.  But with a monochromatic sheme, use different values of the same color to create the contrast.  With blue, for example, start with a dark blue and end with a light blue.
  • Predominance – Make sure that one color or value is predominant- your accent.  Using the blue monochromatic color sheme from the previous example, make sure that the dark blue is the most predominant.  Then use a mid-range blue and a light blue in smaller amounts to create a balance and harmony with the dark blue.
  • Consistent Warms & Cools – Decide whether you want a warm or cool color scheme, and stick to it.  If you’re using warm reds and oranges predominantly, use a warm blue for contrast.  The perfect warm blue will have a tiny amount of red or yellow in it.  Most importantly, make sure your neutrals reflect the warmth or coolness of your color scheme. 
  • Balance & Harmony – The challenge, when creating contrasts and accents with color, is to tie all of these colors back together.  Make sure there is something that the accent shares with the other colors – such as temperature (warm/cool) or value.  When using a complementary color scheme for contrast, these colors can also share temperature, value or intensity.  When you tie your contrasting elements together, you create balance and harmony.  

Inspired by artist Carol Light; Written by Amanda Still, Hill Design + Gallery

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | August 19, 2011

Dinner Parties + Entertaining

A recent Facebook post by SerVintage referencing an online article from House Beautiful  has inspired me to share some of  my own dinner party and entertaining ideas.  Practical tips for throwing a fun and inviting dinner party along with excellent food for excellent company is always welcome at my table!  Taking my favorite ideas from experts and adapting them for my purposes is always fun and challenging.

My mother-in-law, the dinner party hostess extraordinaire, recently gave me the book, “Flair” by Joe Nye.  It is excellent reading for any aspiring hostess!  After reading Mr. Nye’s wonderful guide, I have created my own signature dinner party that I can create again and again….with the help of  my husband, of course.  We call it our “Quick and Easy Barbeque”.

According to Joe Nye, the basic components of a dinner party include a theme, invitations, flowers, a beautiful table setting, good food & drinks, and party favors.  So with the help of Mr. Nye as well as helpful ideas from friends and family, I have created a go-to dinner party!

Theme:  Barbeque  

Invitations:  Emails & phone calls (barbeques are informal enough!)

Flowers:  Yellow gerberas & white daisies; I make one large arrangement for the table centerpiece and smaller arrangements in bud vases tied with raffia for each place setting

Table Setting:  For place settings I use wax paper placemats that I cut myself, red square plastic dinner & salad plates, clear plastic utensils wrapped in a yellow napkin tied with raffia, and red plastic cups

Menu:  Brian will smoke a brisket, chicken, ribs, or sausage or a combination of the 4.  I will make Italian Potatoes and Easy Baked Beans.  Homemade crescent rolls or even the Pillsbury ones are a great addition along with all the barbeque fixins.  Simple drink selections include tea, water, beer & wine.  To top it all off, the Caramel Pecan Cheesecake featured in the April 2011 issue of Focus on Georgetown is so yummy!

Party Favors:  Doggie-bags!

Easy preparation, easy fun & easy clean-up.  Stay tuned for pictures of our next “Quick and Easy Barbeque”.

Written by Amanda Still, Hill Design + Gallery

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | August 3, 2011

Tips + Trends for Summer 2011

Top 5 Interior Design Trends

Sustainable Products & Materials  As consumers are becoming more
environmentally responsible, the selection of sustainable design products and
materials plays a larger role in interior design projects.  Sustainable products may contain recyled
content, salvaged and refurbished content, rapidly renewable materials such as
bamboo, and local materials.  Bamboo has
become a popular and aesthetically pleasing material in products such as flooring
and even fabrics.

High Performance Kitchens  The art of cooking (and clean-up) has become
a sort of “family affair” in recent years.
As a result, high-performance and energy efficient appliances are a
must.  There are many Energy Star
appliances on the market that meet these criteria while working well with the
visual aspects of designer kitchens.
Efficient space planning incorporating the use of the work triangle will
also enhance the cooking experience in a high-performance kitchen.

Effective Lighting Design  Effective lighting design balances the need
to maintain a pleasing interior ambience while remaining environmentally
friendly.  The use of LED technology,
which is advancing rapidly in color and temperature quality, and a lot of
natural light through the use of strategically placed windows addresses the
environmental factors.  A good design
will incorporate a balance of general, task and ambient lighting in order to
meet the lighting needs of the many different interior spaces.

Earth Tones  Although Honeysuckle is the new Pantone Color
for 2011, earth tones make up the palette on which to paint this exciting
accent color.  Shades of brown, blue and
green echo the colors of nature and provide a firm foundation for any design
style.  Using earth tones as the anchor
color scheme in a designer home will only make the design more cohesive when
natural materials such as wood and stone are used extensively.

Simple Elegance  A desire for simple, clean lines has replaced
the confusing clutter of the past.  As
our lives become ever busier, families crave a relaxing and casual escape to
enjoy the true meaning of the popular expression, “less is more”.  An emphasis on the colors and quality of
materials in architectural details will help to achieve a simple, understated
look.  From Provincial to Contemporary,
from Ranch to Craftsman, simple is elegant.

Written by Amanda Still, Hill Design + Gallery

Posted by: Hill Design Gallery | August 3, 2011

Great News for the Contemporary Art Market

As a contemporary art gallery, we find a recent Artnet article about the strong half-year sales at Christie’s Auction House very encouraging news!

“Postwar and contemporary art continues to be the largest part of the auction market, bringing in $702.6 million, up 52 percent over the first half of 2010. “The contemporary market has returned,” Christie’s new CEO Steven P. Murphy told Bloomberg. “It’s done so for a wide range of names.” The big-ticket evening sale of contemporary art at Christie’s New York in May 2011 totaled $301 million, while in 2010 the same sale came it at almost $232 million.”

See full article:


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