November 2 - 27
Tuesday, November 19th at 6:30 PM
Ethel Hills grew up in rural Hollis, New Hampshire amidst farms, apple orchards, hayfields and woods. After high school, she attended Dickinson College for two years before taking some time off. During this break in her schooling, she explored black and white photography, primarily the natural forms in the landscape around her parents’ home in Hollis. She briefly toyed with the idea of returning to school to learn more about photography, but panicked when she found out that meant art school.
Instead, she enrolled at the University of New Hampshire to complete her BA. While at UNH, she fell in love with the seacoast area, the beaches, the rocks, the marshes, and the solitude of the area in the off season. After graduating, she moved to Hampton, eventually settling next to the salt marsh.
Shortly after moving to Hampton, she took up traditional rug hooking. As she learned more and more about rug hooking, she wanted her rugs to become more her own creation. Although she learned to plan her own colors and dye her own wool, she was still working with commercial patterns. It was her pursuit of more personal and creative hooked pieces which brought her to her love of art. Her goal was simple, to learn just enough drawing to be able to produce the very simple line drawings that are the basis of rug designs.
One thing led to another, first a couple of books on drawing, then a drawing class at a high school, then a watercolor class, then a workshop and on and on. There was always something new to learn. After getting a feel for watercolor, the next step was to strengthen her drawing skills. She went back to UNH, only this time studying in the Art Department. She’s worked hard to develop her skills by taking traditional classes at both UNH and the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and also by studying with well-known watercolor artists and teachers, Dustan Knight, Don Andrews, DeWitt Hardy, Ed Betts, Skip Lawrence, and Gerry Brommer.
Hills came to art later in life and through a circuitous route, but has no regrets about it. She has been painting seriously for almost twenty years and is currently pursuing her art career from her small studio in downtown Hampton. She is an active member of the Ogunquit Artist Association, Abstract Artists’ Group of New England, Women’s Caucus for Art, Arts League of Lowell and the New Hampshire Art Association. She has exhibited in numerous juried, group and solo shows in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. She is represented by Paula Estey Gallery in Newburyport, MA.