Hilary Bartlett’s paintings are on display in the Hall Gallery at Miles Memorial Hospital until May 28. Hilary lives year-round in Boothbay Harbor. Her art covers a broad range of subjects in soft swirls of watercolor or bold swaths of acrylic inks. While some pieces are representational she also loves to paint intuitively, allowing the fluid spontaneity of initial pours to suggest a composition. A few images portray enchanted realms inspired by her mother’s published fantasy tales. Others evolve into underwater scenes that reflect her marine biology background.
Hilary grew up in the bustling seaport of Liverpool, England. If asked where she’s from nowadays she blithely says Boothbay Harbor, yet her strong Liverpool accent gives her away — she even saw The Beatles at the Cavern before they were famous. She came to Midcoast Maine in her late twenties to determine a predictive index for toxic red-tides. Her intention was to return to England but Maine’s rocky coast bewitched her. She never left.
Hilary changed careers after her daughter was born and started a home-based art business. Joy Shott of New Harbor is her mentor. Hilary first learned to paint large floral watercolors in the 1990s at Joy’s workshops held at Round Top Center for the Arts. Joy subsequently introduced Hilary to acrylic inks that may be used with resistant materials (e.g. leaves or Saranwrap) to produce a highly textured surface.
Hilary’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries and art centers in Maine and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Several of her ink paintings have won awards at Maine Art Gallery in Wiscasset and the WCSH Portland Sidewalk Art Festival.
Miles Memorial is at 35 Miles St. in Damariscotta.