I am currently preparing for the labor and delivery of… a new collection. With yesterday being the 22nd birthday of my amazing, beautiful, first born daughter, I am reminded of how similar birthing babies is to birthing paintings. Both begin with a vague conception that comes from a mysterious land beyond. Slowly but surely, they become more and more defined and take on a life of their own. The collection currently gestating in my studio is based on botanicals and, more specifically, the Japanese art of flower arrangement called "ikebana", which, in the most simple terms, is an artful, refined arrangement of flowers and other botanicals containing three elements: Heaven, Earth and Human (more about ikebana here). In this collection of paintings there will also be guest appearances such as tea cups, random objects and my dad‘s vast collection of brass animal figurines. [Side note: I’m actually the main contributor to my dad's brass animal collection, and have bought him a brass figurine for every special occasion since I was too young to remember. I realized I may have gone overboard when cleaning out my parents' house upon his untimely passing three years ago. I knew that Dad proudly displayed his brass animal collection at his office, but I didn’t realize that there were a couple of big boxes of figurines in addition to the public exhibit. I am sure that Dad appreciated each and every one of the brass animals, it’s just that people have only so much surface space, I suppose. Unlike the flowers, tea cups and vases in the paintings, the brass figurines are unbreakable and nonperishable, as is my love for and connection with my late father.]
For weeks now I have been sharing the process behind this series in social media, including gathering wildflowers, weeds and sticks from our new property, choosing a palette of Buttercream, Charlotte's Pink, Emerald Green, Pale Lilac and Dahlia Orange, painting the backgrounds, and showing some of the shenanigans of my studio mate, Bonnie, who has a tendency to steal things off my inspiration table and eat my paint brushes. These are the fun parts of the process, and admittedly, I have not been sharing the struggle. Creating art, like child labor, can at times be a struggle, like my firstborn‘s labor ~ 52 hours of back labor with contractions every five minutes, completely void of food, sleep, epidurals or pain medication. And after 52 hours the most beautiful baby gracefully came into the world. My second, born 15 years later, brought a chance to try a different type of childbirth, this time in a hospital, with an epidural, and 30 minutes later, a delivery, with no pain whatsoever. Paintings and newborns can just flow into existence effortlessly. Others take more struggle and require more time before they are completely born. I never know at the beginning of a painting whether it will be a half hour or 52 hour labor. I share some of my process and behind-the-scenes studio shots because I love to see other artists' inner workings. However I was never one to share ultrasounds or birth photos, and am always modest and trepidatious about new paintings too, so the full-frontal flat lay photos of paintings in this series will only be available as each painting is completed. I promise to do everything in my power to bring you another beautiful, thriving, healthy collection of paintings, each one a strong, unique individual. "Botanicals by Honey" original paintings will be available for adoption with the first unveiling in an email, exclusively for the eyes of my email subscribers. If you are considering adoption, and are a collector of fine art, you already know that these babies will last longer than you or I will(!) so please be prepared to take care of them and pass them down to loving hands in future generations. To see the entire collection unveiled, mark your calendar, with alerts, and check your inbox for sneak-peeks of new pieces as they are completed:
Projected date of delivery of the entire
"Botanicals by Honey" Collection:
Monday November 1st, 2:30 pm
12 pieces from the Botanical Collection will be featured in 2022 wall calendar, to be printed and ready for shipment or pick-up in November Pre-Order your 2022 calendars now! Join my email list for updates!
Leading up to the collection's release, as each painting is completed, my email subscribers will receive a preview and the opportunity to purchase the newly completed piece.
Any paintings still unclaimed will be available to the general public Tuesday November 2nd, 2:30 pm at www.HoneyHilliardArt.comFor those that have yet to join my email list, go to www.Honey HilliardArt.com, scroll down and enter your email address. Thank you for appreciating my work. It is my deepest honor to bring art into your life.
A rare side-glimpse of works-in-progress in my studio.
Bonnie here, up to no good in the studio. She gets restless indoors, but loves the land at our new property! She did 27 laps around the property at full speed last week! Bonnie turned one year old on Sep 26. She is a green-eyed Llewellin Setter with heart-shaped spots and we love her.
This is the land where I have gathered inspiration and plants for the Botanical paintings. A dear friend of mine, Lisa, came out to bless the land, make peace with the trees and fairies, and plant a crystalline grid. It wastruly magical.
Gathering wildflowers and planting the crystals... The land gave us back Chanterelle Mushrooms!
My first born, minutes after her birth
Dad, holding my youngest, minutes after her arrival