Artist Studio Tour with Hillary Butler

A   D A Y   I N   T H E   S T U D I O

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I'm so excited you are here today! I’d love for you to be more connected to the process of this artwork and take a peek behind the scenes, so we're going on a virtual studio tour field trip today.
The real magic of the artwork happens layer by layer, hour by hour, in the solitude of the studio. 

So, come on in and peek around and see what my days look like!


The studio days start slowly. A cup of coffee. I decide what podcast to listen to. I clean some brushes and look over my to do list for the day. 

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If it's an office day, I plan out the next few months, file receipts, do my Quickbooks, get caught up on emails and order supplies I need. Sometimes I'm working on digital mockups for commissions or on calls with clients and designers.

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But if it's a studio day... that's when the real magic happens.
 


If I'm working on a new collection, I start with getting out all my ideas. I usually have color palettes that I have set aside from concepts that hit me in the middle of other projects that I want to experiment with. I lay out dozens of pieces of paper or small canvases and start moving paint around. As the strokes hit the paper, my job is to find compositions that start to form and pull them out. Patterns start to form as I work on different variations of a similar idea. A series suddenly emerges from these studies. From there, I pick out my favorite pieces and paint them out on a larger scale.
 

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Each piece starts as something quite amorphous: strokes and swashes that may look like chaos, but I see the image inside the marble. It’s a gentle tug of war between letting the paint tell me what to do and me directing it. So many surprises lie in each new creation. My job is to find them and make them shine.
 

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Sometimes the measure of a day is not found in how much paint goes on the canvas, but how much comes off. It’s in the give and take that great things are formed. I read one time that simplicity is not just doing as little as possible, but rather throwing everything you have at the wall and then narrowing down to the most pure elements. This is a huge part of my process- the push and pull of it. It’s easy to think that abstract art is so easy, but it’s not. It’s a very thoughtful practice and one I’ve grown to love dearly over the years. I’ve started leaving a few more scrape marks and translucent layers behind as a beautiful breadcrumb trail for collectors to find to see how their art took shape.

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The day ends quickly. I realize I'm too caught up in the work and I'm late to pick up kids and I leave a piece midway through ready for me to pick up where I left off... tomorrow. It's another day ready for fresh ideas and inspiration!

S E E   W H A T ' S   N E W !

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