In the Studio - A Little Bit of My Process

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Process. Ask any artist about their process behind their artwork and get ready to watch them totally geek out. I love talking about my artistic process- I use an old masters’ technique to develop my ideas- I call these studies. I flesh out new tons and tons of new ideas on smaller pieces of paper or canvas. I pick the ones that really speak to me and use those as my roadmap for my larger works. It’s really fun to be able to hammer out the basics on small scale and then translate that to some bold dramatic pieces.
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Stretching To Do Some Different Things

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The work got a lot bigger this year and I am stretching to do big things this time around. There are a lot of ladders and a looooot of extra paint. A lot of stretching. Stretching canvas, stretching arms, stretching myself to do some things in a new and exciting way. What a year. A new baby. A few new galleries. New clients. New experiences. Looking forward to so many things this upcoming year!

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Pushing Layers and Translucency

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Each year the work shifts a little. This year has been about pushing layers and translucency. As we change, the work we do has to change with us in order to keep our work authentic. It’s fun to look back and see the progress. Looking at a commission in the studio and this is my very favorite part. So many cool things are happening in this corner.

The Beginning of Each Piece

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In the beginning, 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.

Img @the_kenneys

The Daily Artist Journey

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The daily journey as an artist is not always predictable. Things change. Our work changes. It morphs and grows into something more and more like us the longer we practice it. We change. The work changes us. Children are born, time becomes more and more precious, the vision becomes clearer as to what we are and aren’t about. Black becomes white and then grey and then black again. The road has bumps- joyous days of breakthrough and dark days of resistance. The art becomes deeper. More thoughtful. It doesn’t get easier. We just get better at it. This is the daily artist journey. A striving to find the muse inside. So thankful @the_kenneys we’re able to come yesterday to capture the beauty of my studio days. The textures, the layers, the light, the colors - all of these elements captured so beautifully!! Most excitingly, I also got all my photos within 24 hours, so hit ‘em up, Memphis. When you work with the best, you get the best! 😉

Studio Tour with Hillary Butler

A   D A Y   I N   T H E   S T U D I O

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Today I am walking you through a virtual tour of my studio and I'm so excited about it! I want you to be able to feel just as connected to the process of this artwork as I do and I can’t wait for you to get a peek behind the scenes.


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!


My studio days start slow. I have coffee, decide on a podcast to listen to and clean my brushes before looking over my to do list for the day. 

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When working to create a new collection, I start by getting out as many ideas as I can. Usually, I have color palettes set aside for concepts that hit me in random moments, which allows me to constantly experiment with new colors and compositions. Laying out dozens of pieces of paper or small canvases to paint on help me bring my ideas into cohesion. As the strokes hit the paper, I look to find compositions that form and then I develop further work from the compositions that I find. Patterns start to form as I work on different variations of a similar idea. A series will usually emerge from these studies. From the series, that I create by working on variations of the same idea, I pick out my favorite pieces and paint them out on a larger scale.
 

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Although each piece starts as something quite amorphous: strokes and swashes that may look like chaos, I see image inside the marble. I often feel as though I am playing a gentle game of 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 purest 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 the I have grown to love dearly over the years. Recently, I’ve started leaving a few more scrape marks and translucent layers behind as a beautiful breadcrumb trail for collectors to find and see how the art took shape.

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S E E   W H A T ' S   N E W !

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Working On Some Cool Stuff!

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Hey! Cool stuff has been happening in the studio lately! It never ceases to amaze me that the simplest things like a jar of clean paintbrushes can bring so much joy. Today I’m thanking them for how well they’ve served me and tri-folding them into tents as I put them in my drawer. Ha!! #kondo-studio-takeover

Hillary Butler Fine Art + Art By Design + Arts Memphis

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I’m really excited to be live painting at the DECO, DINE, & DESIGN dinner for the 2019 Arts Memphis Art by Design event!

It’s my kind of dinner- cocktails, Memphis music, artwork in process, and a seated dinner in the center of the designer vignette gallery. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on the painting I’m creating during the dinner. Painting will be 48” x 48” on canvas. Thursday, May 9 | 6:30PM. I’d be tickled pink if you wanted to join us for this dinner or any of the other events that weekend.

Art By Design is one of my favorite Memphis events- check out all the events and buy your tix through https://www.artsmemphis.org/art-by-design.

HIllary Butler + Campbell Collective

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Hey guys! I’m excited to be a part of Campbell Collective!! The Campbell Collective, a passion project headed by Marquin Campbell and Amanda Louise Campbell. In their words,

"The goal of the collection is for us to bring you an ever-changing curated collection of art and artists we love. Marquin is a fine artist herself who loves collaborating and connecting with other artists so she is working as the artist liaison, behind the scenes lady... and is proud to be showing with TCC. I, (Amanda Louise, the insta voice of this endeavor👋🏻) am an interior designer who has a passion for art, supporting artists, and integrating it into client’s homes. I will be acting as stylist, curator and voice of The Campbell Collective... and couldn’t be more jazzed about it. We chose two citrus slices as our logo because two things: 1) If you follow me you know that I’m a bit citrus obsessed, but mainly, 2) Citrus in artwork is traditionally a representation of social status – It’s our motto that everyone should have a slice of the pie (or orange) and have great art that they love! The Campbell Collective will begin featuring 7 artist’s works on paper- All in sizes that pop in ready made frames - taking out another obstacle of getting that art on your wall!

The paper collection at is live today!! Shop 7 artists' pieces- there’s so many cool artworks!

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Abstract Art Phone Wallpaper Download

Who doesn’t love a freebie wallpaper for your phone? I have 3 new pieces of eye candy for you! Crops of paintings from the new Terra collection - these pops of color are sure to bring a spot of joy each time you open your phone. Enjoy these new abstract wallpapers for your phones! Just screenshot them and save to your phone to use as your wallpaper!

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New Abstract Landscape Collection, "Terra"

I’m excited to announce the New Abstract Landscape Collection, "Terra":  26 new works on paper!

It's been a busy few months pulling this new collection together. I've been revisiting landscapes with some new techniques- lots of layers and textures and I'm really excited to share this with you! 


The collection goes live March 28. To shop early, make sure your name is on the mailing list below! 

Email inquiries to hillary@hillarybutler.com

15”x 22”

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HillaryButlerArtBirdsOfAFeather15x22.jpg
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24” x 28”

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22” x 30”

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36” x 48”

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Recent Paper Pieces

It’s been a while since I’ve put out a collection of abstract art on paper under $500. I released 4 of these to my mailing list every Monday in October. I called them Magical Mondays because who doesn’t want some of this magic in your inbox every week? Mondays are crazy enough. Let’s make them amazing! These bad boys sold super fast. I’m so grateful for such supportive collectors! A few of them are left- snatch yours before they are gone! Also- pop your name on the mailing list below so you don’t miss out on the next amazing offer I dream up!

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Don’t miss the next Magical Monday-ness or whatever new goodness I dream up !

Memphis Abstract Art + Marketing Workshop with Hillary Butler

Art Biz Ladies, this one is for you!! Per your requests, I’ve been working on a special new workshop this year combining level 2 art techniques and a Marketing session!! Check out all the details below. Questions? Email me! hillary@hillarybutler.com

Abstract 201   |   Level 2  | Limited to 15 

Saturday October 20, 2018   9am-3 pm

This is a day workshop for practicing artists looking to connect with each other and learn the art of building a rock solid process that keeps your work consistent and takes your art and your business to the next level.

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Basically I just created the workshop that I wanted to attend but could never find. Yep. I did- and I'm so excited about this!

Morning: Hands on Process Building Session 9am-12pm

We'll open up with a cocktail mingle and have a morning where we  get our hands messy making some art walking through process and experimenting with new ideas. I talk to so many practicing artists who feel stuck and ask where I get my ideas, how do they keep their work original, and keep fresh ideas coming? Well, sweat it no more! I've pulled together some great exercises and materials for a morning of digging deeper into the steps that it takes to build a process that works for you; a place where new concepts flow and lead to the next great idea. It's not complicated, but there really is an art to your artistic process! 

 

Afternoon: Heart to Heart Table Talk about Marketing 12 pm - 3 pm

Lunch will be catered in and we'll spend 12-3 pm having a cozy heart- to- heart table talk where we'll focus on Marketing and Sales. I'll be answering pre-submitted questions so I can give attendees tailored answers that speak to your specific needs! Marketing is my jam, y'all. I eat this stuff for breakfast and am excited to share all the juicy tidbits I've learned over the years. This will be a day where everyone feels loved on and connected and leaves with a deeper vision for their practice and the confidence to market a more successful art business.
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Class includes:

Cocktail mingle
All art supplies-
Take home swag bag
Lunch

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COST $400

FAQ time!

I love hearing your questions! These are the most popular workshop questions. Are any of these your questions?

I hear this question so much:
"What do I paint next?"


"I look at my canvas and panic a little as to what to paint next." That was me back in the day. I used to stare at a blank canvas and get a little sweaty. I was so worried that my work would never be consistent. I bounced around from idea to idea depending on which new artist was inspiring me that day. I knew I had the skills, but my work lacked that edge it needed to have that trademark "Hillary Butler" look. It took me years to finally get to the place I saw myself when I first set out to paint professionally.

At the Abstract 201 Workshop, we're digging down into our process- that golden child that keeps those ideas consistently FLOWING! We'll be getting messy, we'll be moving, we'll be exploring new ideas and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. It will be a guided playzone- a place to experiment and collaborate with fellow artists. No one has to buy these pieces, no one has to see them. You don't have to post them on Insta (unless you really want to!). It's hard to give ourselves the time we need to stop our studio time (aka paycheck making time, amiright??) and explore new ideas. This workshop serves to play and discover that deep work that's inside of you that maybe you've been a little afraid to explore on your own.

Why in person workshops?
Why don't you offer this online?


Great question. 2 reasons.
#1
There was a girl I went to art school with named Stacy who always showed up with a project 1,000 x's better than mine. No matter how hard I worked, hers was always mic drop amazing. It made me a little mad, but mainly it made me want to KICK HER BUTT with my next project. Being physically next to her pushed me. I could see her process and could ask her questions and learn some techniques from her. That's why I want us all in the same room. Because of Stacy. I want us to collaborate, to grow together, to walk away with a new friend that we can text and ask, what does this piece need? 

#2

My number one goal at Abstract 201 Workshop is for you to feel seen, heard, and loved on. Our work as creatives can be so isolating and the community aspect of in person workshops is one of the most beautiful parts! It brings me so much joy to see attendees exchanging number, sharing resources, asking each other questions and realizing that at the end of the day, we're all working through the same things. I want to see your face and give you a hug and hear how your business is doing- you can't do that through a screen like you can in person.

How did you "make it?"
I get asked my story a lot.  Spoiler alert: It's not an overnight success story. I'll be sharing at the Abstract 201 Workshop how an art major turned English major turned English teacher turned admin assistant turned graphic designer turned into a professional artist.

What is the best "channel" (path to customers) you use to bring in customers? Is it your website,  Instagram and/or other social medias?
I'm happy to say that it's all of them! Instagram has been my best performing social media channel and this year I've been focusing on SEO (thank you Shanna for pointing out how important SEO is!) to drive more people to my site through Google searches and building my mailing list so I can speak directly to customers.

We'll be breaking all of these down at the Abstract 201 Workshop and getting into the nitty gritty of the most effective ways of getting your work in front of the right people!

Memphis Abstract Art 101 Workshop with Hillary Butler


I have some workshops coming up around the corner!! Abstract 101 is really popular and fills up really fast. As of today, we only have 4 spots left. Come join us!! Scroll down for FAQ’s!!

Questions? Email me hillary@hillarybutler.com

Abstract 101    |    Level 1   

Saturday October 6, 2018 9 am- 12 pm  |     Limited to 12
Morning Workshop for those looking to learn the foundations of Abstract Art- beginner level.

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Ever see an abstract art piece on Pinterest and think," I could totally do that!" only to end up with a huge mess on your kitchen table? You aren't alone! Abstract art is harder than it looks and I'm here to guide you through painting your own original composition and  each attendee will leave class with their own 12"x 12" painting.  This is a beginner level class; no painting experience is required. Grab a friend or come on your own and join us
 for a really fun workshop and beautiful event that you'll be talking about for months to come!

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Class includes:

Cocktail mingle
All art supplies-
 Art starter kit swag bag
Snacks and beverages

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COST: $225


While we paint, we can discuss any burning questions you have about the art world!

FAQ’s

I hear this question so much:
"What do I paint next?"


"I look at my canvas and panic a little as to what to paint next." That was me back in the day. I used to stare at a blank canvas and get a little sweaty. I was so worried that my work would never be consistent. I bounced around from idea to idea depending on which new artist was inspiring me that day. I knew I had the skills, but my work lacked that edge it needed to have that trademark "Hillary Butler" look. It took me years to finally get to the place I saw myself when I first set out to paint professionally.

At the Abstract 101 Workshop, we're figuring out how to create a painting from scratch. No more looking at other artist's work or Pinterest or random Google searches and to figure out what to paint today. Learn the basic building blocks that it takes to create a beautiful piece of art that is original to you!

We'll be getting messy and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. It will be a guided playzone- a place to experiment and collaborate with fellow artists. No one has to buy these pieces, no one has to see them. You don't have to post them on Insta unless you really want to!


I don't have any painting experience. Can I still come?
Yes! This is a beginner level class. No experience needed to join in!

I've had painting experience, but I want to learn how to paint an Abstract style. Is this for me?
Yes! Experienced painters of all levels, come learn abstract skills,  I’ve had so many different levels of attendees come and learn so much. 

Is this free paint time or will you be showing us what to do?

The Abstract 101 Workshop is packed with lots of instruction and hands on learning on the go. As I teach, I guide attendees through the exercises. Each exercise builds on the last one to help you create an original composition from scratch. I lead you through and walk around and help everyone. I don’t leave anyone hanging!  
 


Why in person workshops?
Why don't you offer this online?


Great question. 2 reasons.
#1
There was a girl I went to art school with named Stacy who always showed up with a project 1,000 x's better than mine. No matter how hard I worked, hers was always mic drop amazing. It made me a little mad, but mainly it made me want to KICK HER BUTT with my next project. Being physically next to her pushed me. I could see her process and could ask her questions and learn some techniques from her. That's why I want us all in the same room. Because of Stacy. I want us to collaborate, to grow together, to walk away with a new friend that we can text and ask, what does this piece need? 

#2

My number one goal at Abstract 201 Workshop is for you to feel seen, heard, and loved on. Our work as creatives can be so isolating and the community aspect of in person workshops is one of the most beautiful parts! It brings me so much joy to see attendees exchanging number, sharing resources, asking each other questions and realizing that at the end of the day, we're all working through the same things. I want to see your face and give you a hug and hear how your business is doing. Y'all hear me talking about sitting around a table together and this is what we get to do! You can't share a beautiful converations and cocktail mingles online. It's just best done in person!

How many seats are left?
Only 4!! One of these has your name on it!

"Monochromatic" Collection Release July 24!!!!!

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I N T R O D U C I N G   T H E
"M O N O C H R O M A T I C" 
C O L L E C T I O N
SERIES RELEASE JULY 24!


I'm excited to release this new Collection! It's been in the works for a while- baby #2 put a little pause on this series - it's so great to finally be releasing these beauties!


The inspiration for these pieces was a "monochromatic" palette of sorts. The quote marks are added for the literalists in the room. I've had a lot of sweet folks remind me that these are not, indeed monochromatic. For this gal, they sure are! It was definitely a challenge to stick to one main color and use some little tiny pops to make that color sing!! I wanted to focus in on a single color and let that hue sing with a supporting cast of colorful characters. You'll see fabulous chunks of texture and layers galore in this new series. There's a lot of layered love in each piece and  I hope you enjoy these as much as I have!

 

Make sure you pop your name on the mailing list for early access to the new work!

 

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Abstract Art Series: Monochromatic, Playing with Lots of Color!

This new series has been a while in the making for those following along. I started this series the beginning of this year, but I was huge pregnant at the time and the last month I just, honestly, ran out of steam. The first pregnancy was so easy, but this one was harder and I wrapped up commission projects and took it easy the last 2 weeks. I'm so glad I did, because I was growing a big guy! The past two months have both flown by and creaked along- two kids feels like this crazy time warp. It has felt really good to gradually start getting back in the studio this month at my own pace and getting back in the creative groove. As much as I enjoyed the wonderful break from the glorious grind, it's nice to feel like myself again, except a little guy is swinging beside me while the other one is at childcare.  I'm excited to share this new piece from the series, "Pinkaliciousness." This is the study. I'm pretty sure this one will end up as a 36" x 36" abstract painting on paper. I can't wait to get started on it! It's been so fun to play with so much color and focus on one color as the dominant hue for each painting. Hot pink paintings are my secret love- I hope to paint several for this collection. Stay tuned- make sure you're on the mailing list to know when the series first drops so you can snag your favorite piece!

This new series has been a while in the making for those following along. I started this series the beginning of this year, but I was huge pregnant at the time and the last month I just, honestly, ran out of steam. The first pregnancy was so easy, but this one was harder and I wrapped up commission projects and took it easy the last 2 weeks. I'm so glad I did, because I was growing a big guy! The past two months have both flown by and creaked along- two kids feels like this crazy time warp. It has felt really good to gradually start getting back in the studio this month at my own pace and getting back in the creative groove. As much as I enjoyed the wonderful break from the glorious grind, it's nice to feel like myself again, except a little guy is swinging beside me while the other one is at childcare.

I'm excited to share this new piece from the series, "Pinkaliciousness." This is the study. I'm pretty sure this one will end up as a 36" x 36" abstract painting on paper. I can't wait to get started on it! It's been so fun to play with so much color and focus on one color as the dominant hue for each painting. Hot pink paintings are my secret love- I hope to paint several for this collection. Stay tuned- make sure you're on the mailing list to know when the series first drops so you can snag your favorite piece!