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LIFE IS COLORFUL: Works of Ethel Hills

Color Block 3LIFE IS COLORFUL: Works of Ethel Hills opened April 15 and ran through June 10, 2011. The colorful mixed media collages and watercolors of Ethel Hills, Hampton, NH brightens the space after the long winter.

Hills is a New Hampshire native settling in Hampton after falling in love with the seacoast. She attended the University of NH and continued her education at NH Institute of Art, Manchester, NH. She has exhibited extensively in New England both solo, group shows and received a number of awards . She is an active member in Newbury Art Association, NH Art Association, Abstract Artist Group of New England, Women's Caucus for Art and Seacoast Art Association.

Discussing her work she describes, "As a child, I loved the little bits of the landscape, patterns made by the lengthening shadows in the woods, the ripples on a pond, or the intricate patterns made when water freezes in a brook or puddle. Long before I knew anything about art, I was thinking in terms of movement, pattern and simple intimate compositions. I was noticing abstract design elements, not just objects. From somewhere unknown, I developed a passion for warm intense colors, colors that brought me joy, colors that made me feel good. Color Block 1 - 8 inch

The small scale mixed media paintings that I now create reflect that passion for color, my reference to the landscape, and my semi-abstract take on the world. These elements contribute to my goal of work which suggests the landscape rather than documents a specific time and place, work that allows the viewer to bring their own life experiences and memories, work which will evoke a mood or a memory, a place or a time of day."

My current mixed media collages begin with wooden painting panels painted with an initial coat of acrylic to create a color background. I prepare shapes and lines by tearing, cutting and repainting bits and pieces of paintings as well as papers painted specifically for the collages. I can then move the pieces around until I’m satisfied. Working one layer at a time, I glue the papers to the painting. The collage process allows me to explore color, shape, texture, line and value as I arrange and rearrange pieces to develop a cohesive design.

Color Block #3, (upper right) by Ethel Hills, mixed media collage on panel
Color Block #1, (lower right) by Ethel Hills, mixed media collage on panel