Journey Of An Artist – Karen Hilliard

Welcome to my little spot online. This is where I’ll be sharing my artwork and making it available to the world. I thought I would introduce myself by sharing my path to becoming an artist and continuing my passion.

I have been painting and drawing since I was 16 along with being a three sport athlete. Through basketball, cross country, and track I learned dedication along with perseverance. My world evolved my Sophomore year when I picked up a paintbrush and my art teacher Mrs. Capps changed my life. She added me into her AP art class and I felt whole. 

I continued this journey into college at San Francisco State and received my Bachelor’s in Art with an emphasis painting and drawing. This is when I started working in the produce department at grocery stores and traveling the world getting inspired. I always wanted a job where I could paint and feel free, but working while painting full time was challenging. 

I decided to get my Master’s in teaching and loved being a 5th grade teacher. Working on my art while being an educator was even more challenging. Trying to finish an 18″x24″ painting takes 80+ hours. Teaching had me working 14-20 hour days with so many demands on my time. I truly appreciated both professions but something was missing. I was not painting or drawing and I felt incomplete. I needed to take time off.

My husband and I live in Las Vegas, NV where we are blessed to go on many hikes and adventures. Our dog Spector enjoys them as well! Hiking around the desert among the beautiful flowers during the spring gave me a new sense of calm. I decided to create a Tiny Paintings series of these flowers to bring beauty to others. I love the way the colors of the desert work together to create beautiful images by themselves. The natural purple and yellow complementary colors make the desert come alive. I try to express my emotions and what I envision while out on these hikes in my work. Each 4″x6″ painting takes 4-5 hours to complete. 

Journey Of An Artist - Karen Hilliard

The next series was the Redwoods from my home in California. These tall trees hold many secrets throughout time and always soothe my soul. I tried to portray their majestic presence in my paintings and how I feel when I walk beneath them. I continued my daily creations with several series of Tiny Paintings. 

I am fascinated by the intricate patterns in rocks and trees. I also see these same patterns in the faces of others. In portraits I focus on the story in the person’s face along with the details and subtleness of the lines in hair and their features. My paintings have many layers as do trees, rocks, people, and animals. 

I hope my work brings you joy. Thank you for being a part of my journey and for your support!

Karen Hilliard