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Out of the Dust

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August 2018 Newsletter: A Great Way to Beat the Summer Doldrums

It’s summer…again.  Every year it seems to get here quicker and drag on longer—although I admit that it may have something to do with fall in Southern California basically being a sequel to summer.  If it were a movie, it might be called Summer Part 2: Fire and Wind!     Is it Halloween yet? “The… read more

What I Learned From Painting the Same Bird Almost 10 Times

A few years ago, I painted a Sandpiper with pastel and brushed it with water for a soft, calming effect.  It was one of those times where I used art to ease my anxiety– I painted the bird during a summer thunderstorm.  Thunderstorms in cool weather don’t bother me, but the ones we occasionally get… read more

Overwintering (Newsletter March 2018)

Do you go dormant in the winter? “Bit of Moonlight” 3 x 5 inch pastel on paper   I’ve written before about having developed a gardening habit– and that it’s something I struggle to do successfully.  Having had so much rain last year, I was looking forward to a “normal” winter this year, with slightly… read more

An Artist’s Guide to Cataract Surgery

I don’t really have a bucket list, but if I did, cataract surgery would not have been on that list! “His Own Path” pastel on paper    It started with  cloudy vision in the lower half of one eye–which quickly progressed to the whole eye.  I went in, had my eyes dilated for the first time… read more

Welcome Art Friends!

Welcome!  Please feel free to browse my blog posts, check out new work, or sift through my galleries to find something that connects with you.   If you are inquiring about workshops, paint-sips/coffee-paints, or private lessons, please email me at nicolehilsabeck@yahoo.com.   I am also available for in-home art instruction for kids and teens (great… read more

A Cure for the Mid-Summer Blues (Newsletter 7/30/16)

Well, we’ve hit the sticky middle of summer with a vengeance this year in Southern California!  Ordinarily the early sunrises would inspire me to wake up and get some painting done in the mornings, but I have children who seem to pop out of bed the minute the sun is out.  So, painting time gets… read more

Another Month, Another Creative Mess!

Newsletter 5/14/16   What are your creative rituals?  Do you exercise, or put on music before you work?  What about when the work is finished?  How do you process what you’ve completed?   Back when I painted on more of a schedule, my artwork piled up quickly in the kitchen.  I developed sort of a… read more

Rattlesnakes and Late-Night Potato Pancakes

Newsletter 3/31 What do rattlesnakes and potato pancakes have in common?  Well, according to some people, both are edible—but I’ve been vegetarian for 25 years now, so I won’t be eating rattlesnake any time soon! I’ve had a couple of hard life lessons in the last week.  I promise you, a connection to art will… read more

Peaceful Inspiration

Newsletter 10/8/15   Even on a crowded day at the beach, I find the ocean peaceful.  “Peace and Quiet” 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper    At a popular hotel, the koi pond is another source of inspiration.    “Kabuki Koi Pond” 14 x 18 Pastel on Flat Canvas    Do you find yourself looking… read more

Is it bad for your art to match the couch?

Newsletter 7/18/15    About that whole “art matching the couch” thing: I don’t think it’s bad if people buy art to match the couch.   “Sprig” 9 x 12 Pastel on paper    I once was introduced by a friend-of-a-friend at a festival, who happened to enjoy painting in his spare time.  When I asked… read more

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