Tag Archives: Hilary Harwell

Mother & Child ~ Hibiscus Semi-Abstract

Mother & Child

It appears that I might be on to something here….  I am really enjoying the series of semi-abstract floral paintings that I’ve been working on lately.  I love the freedom of the washes (both watered down acrylic and rubbing alcohol delivered a la squirt bottle) that comprise the background, and the more controlled, technical aspect of the flowers themselves.  I used a photograph of a bloom and a bud taken at my in-laws lake house here in Georgia.  While the hibiscus isn’t my favorite flower (Gerbera daisies win that prize), I have always been drawn to their vibrant colors and the tropical vibe that they represent.

I’m trying to decide what I’ll use for my next subject.  Sunflowers are popular and have a lot of character, but I’m not sold on them….  If anyone has any favorites, I’m open!


An Offering – Calla Lily Semi-Abstract

With summer in full swing, I find myself having less and less time to write.  I’ve managed to sneak time here and there between the torrent of requests, “I’m hungries”, “So and so took my such and such”, and all of the other rants from my kids.  Even the little one is starting now – she finally figured out that she can get around and investigate the world around her.  It’s pretty comical actually – she pulls herself along with her fingers (on all fours) and pushes with her tiptoes simultaneously.  I’ve tried to show her that she can get up on her knees and go twice as fast, with half as much effort, but she wants nothing of it.  Typical…   I will admit that I’m ready for my oldest to head back to school.  She’ll be starting kindergarten in August and she seems to be the most needy of all three kids…

So back to the point of this post – my latest painting.  I think I’m on to something with the muted, contrasting washed backgrounds and the strong flowers in the foreground.  I enjoy doing them and have been pleased with how they turn out.  I sold the Fire Poppy painting  just last week so I decided to work on this Calla Lily in a similar fashion.    Nothing like being able to pay a bill or two!  ;o)  Hope everyone out there is having a fabulous summer!

Oh, and as an aside, I’m considering doing some of these originals as prints.  Does anyone have any recommendations on how to do so?  Types of paper, printing process, etc….  I’d love to hear your suggestions.


Where the Magic Happens…

So I’ve decided to share my most recent work in progress, because I’m really enjoying how it’s turning out.   I still have some work to do on this Calla Lily (stamen, etc) but sometimes I think it’s fun just to show you what I’m up to.  I appear to be on a flower kick right now and am enjoying using washed backgrounds and bold clear floral elements in the foreground.  This particular lily appears to be making an offering of some sort…perhaps an offering of it’s undeniably perfect form….  I received a lot of positive responses on my Fire Poppy painting and have decided to take a stab at some different species to see how they turn out.

This one has several layers of various washes, mixed up with a bit of alcohol here and there to spice things up and create some depth to the background (my new favorite!).

On another note, I just booked tickets to take the family to Connecticut at the end of July.  I’m wonderfully excited about this ~ my kids haven’t been to CT in the summer yet, and I can’t wait for them to experience the beaches and summer fun that I knew growing up.  I’m sure it will spark all sorts of creative inspiration (and a plethora of hilarious anecdotes which I will then share with you!!).  In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging along, eyes open, looking for the next source of inspiration for my work.  Cheers!


Back from Vacation ~ Fire Poppy Painting

Fire Poppy


I just returned from a 4 day long road trip to the Florida panhandle, specifically Panama City Beach.  It was my first time traveling down there and the white sand beaches were definitely beautiful and inspiring.  Parts of it were a little rough around the edges for this Connecticut Yankee, but all in all it was a good trip (minus the 15 pit-stops each way between there and Atlanta….ah, the joys of traveling with small children!).

In any case, I had finished several paintings before we embarked on that journey, but didn’t have the time to share with all of you!  So, here is the first and one that I’m very fond of.  I set it up with a wash of various layers and hues (blues, greys, etc) and then played around a little with rubbing alcohol delivered via squirt bottle which I enjoyed.  I set up the poppy and was going to leave it solo, but decided that I needed another flower (this one a lily) in the foreground.


Nude in a Dream

First of all, I just have to tell you how excited I am about this particular painting.  It was one of those that just flowed out of me with very little fuss.  As soon as I had set the background up, with a wash of acrylic and water, I immediately knew how my nude would need to be incorporated.  I had decided several weeks ago that I wanted to take a stab at painting a nude (out of my head…no model for this one).  I have always thought that the female form is one of beauty – our natural curves have such an amazing flow – and I have many sketches that I have done of nudes so I felt it necessary to get one on canvas.  In any case, this one just worked out so nicely… I hope you enjoy!


Contemplating Stillness – the finished work

And here we have the finished product!  I put the final touches on this painting this evening.  My mother has been in town for the past week and for some reason I find her presence too distracting to create, which is the cause for the delay in posting this.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  Whenever I look at the woman standing amidst the waves, I wonder what she’s thinking about.  I hope you enjoy it too!


Drawing Inspiration from Unexpected Places

So the other day I had set up my easel outside on my back deck in the scorching Georgia sunshine (which I think I’m actually getting used to) and had begun working on a small canvas that I had previously painted with a tangerine backdrop.  The tone was simply not doing it for me so I set out to change it to a new color scheme, to see what would happen.  One of my three munchkins pulled me away from it while the paint was still wet, and, upon my return, I found a few little finger marks left from where one of the other little buggers had decided to make some art of their own.  I knew it was my almost 3 year old son.

He’s  a stinker about stuff like that…  So I huffed a bit and let it sit over the weekend.  When I came back to it yesterday, I realized that his little finger mark had brought a whole new life to it and I could immediately envision where I wanted to take it.  This ties back into my previous post about letting things sit for awhile to see what they decide to become.  But I think it’s also important to look for inspiration in unexpected places, or perhaps, to remain open and present as much as possible so that we can see the opportunity to create in everything!  I’ll post the finished work soon.