High Contrast

Nancy Hillis gives an excellent talk on contrast this week in the program “Studio Journey.” She speaks of the visual excitement generated by contrast of color: light and dark, warm and cool, and the play of complementary colors, colors that exist on opposite sides of the color wheel. She demonstrates these contrasts within her own paintings. She also examines contrast of smooth and rough texture of paint application, opaque and transparent paint applications and soft washes vs. bold brush work.

I love the teaching bundles in her program “Studio Journey.” She brings knowledge of science, art, mythology, psychology and physics together into easily understood food for though and exploration. A truly enlightening journey.

Nancy Hillis is an abstract painter, currently working in her art studio on medium to large abstract paintings. At the beginning of her program “Studio Journey” she says:

“Welcome to Studio Journey. I’m delighted that you’re here! As a fellow Journeyer, I want to guide and inspire on your journey. My mission is to encourage you to cultivate a robust studio practice, explore and experiment in your art and ultimately create your deepest, most authentic and personal work.

I see our work as artists as being a never ending journey of listening to and answering the call within ourselves to step into the wonder and the mystery of our art and our life. Just as in life, we’re continually coming back full circle to the foundations, the beginning of our journey. We do this over and over again and each time, we see the beginning with new eyes informed by our experiences.”

The Studio Journey has inspired many painters from all over the world who find her teachings enlivening and fulfilling. The challenges are exhilarating and a personal learning experience for all in this on line painting extravaganza.

Creations I have made on this Studio Journey, by Janis Kirstein:


Hildy Maze Makes Mind Moves

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is very pleased to announce that Hildy Maze has been selected as one of the four artists of the gallery’s recent eighth “Solo Art Series” Art Competition.




Hildy will now have a month-long solo art exhibition and she will be featured on the gallery’s front page, in the Gallery’s YouTube Channel, as well as in the “Solo Art Series” archive. See links below to access.


Artist Biography:

Hildy Maze is an American artist with Turkish, Russian, Austrian heritage. Born in Brooklyn, NY she received a BFA from Pratt Institute. For years, Hildy lived and worked in her loft in Tribeca, NYC before moving to East Hampton, NY where she currently works and lives.

Hildy is best known for her abstract contemplative oil on paper drawing, painting collages. In her messy paradise, which is her studio, Hildy explores mind and identity. Though her process of collage and the handling of materials she intimately describes how our active mind creates collages of thoughts and patterns, as in a dream. If we examine our thoughts, we can see they are fragmented pieces, empty of solidity. “None of us can avoid thoughts” she says, “but through awareness of our pitfalls, beauty, strengths, and weaknesses we can open windows into the mind”. The core of her contemplative art practice is to visually embody the blind spots as a result of our thoughts.

She is interested in the study of how the mind works as a means of gaining insight into how we communicate, how we create identity through form, emotions, and consciousness, and how we hide in that creation. She explains that essentially this work is about all of us and the empty, clear and unconditional nature of the mind we all have. When we know the nature of our mind we will know the nature of our world.

Hildy’s work is influenced by her long-time study and practice of Tibetan Buddhist meditation with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Her studio floor is covered with a vast tapestry of painted paper—ripped, aged, and often walked on for days or months. This, she says allows the process and rhythm of art-making to come more alive with spontaneity and unpredictability. Her work has a rugged, earthy, hands-on, living quality. The treatment of the paper lends to it an inherent living quality. Depending on the passing of time and light, it takes on various characteristics and a quality of accelerated impermanence as the paper ages and becomes fragile, not unlike those things we search for and cherish in an attic or basement, or even at an archeological site, or when retrieving a lost memory. An otherwise ordinary, insignificant quality becomes special. A fingerprint, wrinkle, rip, drip, or tear becomes texture and language. These abstract contemplative works were developed with the view that art has the capacity to infuse our experience with awareness of our inherent nature, and, along with their carefully chosen titles, invite viewers to move beyond the boundaries of the image into a more contemplative consideration of mind in relationship to the phenomena of what we consider objective reality.

An additional activity that informs Hildy’s work is her familiar, family-like relationship with a colony of Herring and Great Black-Backed Gulls she’s been feeding hard-boiled eggs to for 20 years at Maidstone Beach Bay. She says, “We know each other well, perching on my head and shoulders, surrounding me as if protecting the bounty they know I have for them. This ritual is filled with a sense of an intimacy with wildness. I’ve learned who is mated to who, each gull’s idiosyncrasies, who their chicks are, when they arrive at the bay in August, how they physically change from white to speckled depending on the mating cycle and season’s light and so much more”. Eventually, she would like to develop an installation called “lover of the open sky” based on this relationship with the gulls.

Hildy has exhibited her work throughout the U.S. including NYC, Long Island City, Brooklyn, California, and Beijing, China. She has won numerous awards and is in several private collections in the U.S, Europe and Asia.

Hildy lives in East Hampton, NY continuing with her study and practice of meditation, making art, and feeding the gulls whenever the weather allows.



Artist Statement:

Years ago, a friend sent me the Prajnaparamita, known as the Heart Sutra based on realizing the non-conceptual simplicity of reality, “form is emptiness, emptiness is form”. Having a heightened interest about how mind works and how mind is, reading the Heart Sutra changed my life on the spot! Within a week I was practicing and studying Tibetan Buddhist meditation with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and artist. I received ‘pointing out instructions’ from him which brings the investigation and recognition of mind’s flawless nature into personal experience cutting through conceptual obscurations that are our endless, dualistic thoughts and emotions.

My abstract contemplative work is completely informed by these realizations. My path of making visual images became the inner structure of mind and how its’ patterns of confusion obscure our recognition of this vast space of ceaseless energy. For ten years I studied and practiced meditation with Trungpa Rinpoche until his death in1987. Since that time my work has gone through a process of increased familiarity with how mind works and how to present that familiarity thru visual images.

The development of each piece is experiential using collaged drawing and painting on paper with disparate techniques and specific titles discussing how mind, when active, creates collages of emotional thought patterns, like in a dream. The images are intended to be intimate, yet not isolated since the activity of mind is the same for everyone yet personal because each of us is affected by our thoughts and emotions differently. The work is unrefined with an immediate, handmade, unprepared quality, working with the ordinary characteristics of the paper meaning rips, wrinkles, aging, fragile-ness and light sensitivity. A sense of impermanence representing our life progression.

My process is filled with discovery and surprise, playing an edge within myself with deliberateness and imperfection without conceptualization, trusting mind’s innate clarity. For me, oil on paper collage is the most responsive way to investigate the mind. Whether awake or dreaming, mind is like a collage, appearing as countless variations of thoughts and images, as an over-lapping unfinished aesthetic that embraces the unresolved, open-ended imperfections of living. Viewing mind and collage this way contributes to the hands-on realness of intimacy and immediacy of seemingly non-sequitur abstraction with a touch of representational expression.


I recall instructions from Trungpa Rinpoche, ‘art arises from a deep merging of mind and heart, seeing from within, drawing from pure awareness without visually grasping, beginning from uncertainty without reference point’. Drawing freely without visual judgment; spontaneous and personal, I use tools and techniques that are intimate and varied, anything that can make a mark with controlled spontaneity. I would like the images and titles to create an accessible, personal space, like hearing a familiar voice. The images can be viewed as individually framed pieces, or informally, closer to how they were made, simply pinned to the wall, or randomly together similar to how our thoughts arise, dwell and dissolve in a seemingly continuous, often unrelated stream. .

Essentially I view my work as an evolving inquiry. I continue to live, make art, and to study the principles of Buddhist contemplative philosophy, a pursuit not unlike cleaning the dust off the windows in a house in order to see the world and oneself more clearly and precisely, with less aggression and with more equanimity, kindness and humor. To view more of Hildy’s artworks visit her website;





Check out this Fab video Presentation of Hildy’s work.

You Tube Presentation


Here are individual images of Hildy’s work.


Many thanks to the Light Space Gallery for this story and images.    

Light and Space GalleryLight and Space Gallery

Snow Day= Art Day

Nothing like a little piece of Peace.

Click here to see more of this digital painting by Jan Kirstein https://fineartamerica.com/featured/ascension-janis-kirstein.html

Snow Day Haiku from the New York Times


As cottony white flakes float downward like confetti (at least in Midtown at 10:09 a.m.), we offer a selection of haiku that you, our dear readers, wrote, inspired by one of the last snowy days.

White snow in the park
Celebrate with comfort food
Resolutions fade

— Ruth

Swirl sideways, up, down
Each with a mind of its own
Peace before chaos

— Robert Fox

Mister and misses
cardinal sit lightly but
still the pines drop snow

— James Moening

More inconvenience
Snow and trash and late for work
At least not bed bugs

— Anwar Ragep

snow falling softly
now white and clean, soon becomes
the slush that we dread

— Ellen

Pale snowflakes fall fast,
As do Bloomberg poll numbers.
Grab a shovel, Mike.

— M. A. Darling

Flurries from the sky
Make me want to call in sick
And curl up in bed.

— Kelsey

snowflakes, large as leaves,
brush these buildings’ steel skins like
butterfly kisses

— hairlessOrphan

on the salted rim
of the hudson’s frozen drink
your brain is the lime

— specialeddie

lovely for a day
in New York it soon turns gray
trash pick-up delay

— Anna

Crunching under foot
Once again I shovel snow
To avoid lawsuit

— Frank Jump

Plows scraping blacktop –
Overkill now can’t undo
December’s failures.

— No. 2

Subliminal Transformations

What message do you want to send to yourself every day, or to your friends? Here is a great way to send constant affirmations: choose a word of affirmation surrounded by the visual energy of that word as interpreted by fine artist Jan Kirstein.

These messages, surrounded by corresponding energy of that word will not only evoke feelings from within the viewer, but imbed that concept in the subconscious mind to travel with you no matter where you go on your daily journey.

Surround yourself with an image next to your front door that you see every time you enter or leave your house, or embellish your bathroom or bedroom with pillows, shower curtains, towels, or totes. Surround yourself and others to become the best version of yourself.

To see these prints and related products, click this link. https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/janis-kirstein.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=770219

The Painting Journey Continues

Our painting Journey Continues with Nancy Hillis’ Studio Journey online abstract painting workshop. Her assignments help free up your expressive inspirations through exploration and self confidence. Growth emerges through experimentation. My own personal journey has opened up possibilities far beyond what I faced even weeks ago. Thanks Nancy!

Painting in a Series

Permission to Create Continues the Journey

Painting and sharing in the new web site format Studio Journey, with our artist guide Nancy Hillis, brings the fulfillment of granting the permission to create, for many knowledgeable painters from all over the world. Nancy Hillis is an inspiring painter, teacher and medical doctor who brings us all together through the website to share her projects, resulting in the creation of art work and feedback from one another.

Thank you Nancy for leading our inspiring journey, which has just begun.

Jan Kirstein

Photo courtesy of Pascal

Check out her website to see more about Nancy and her Art Journey at https://nancyhillis.com

As a beginning, our first intention was to work in a series, encouraging experimentation within a framework of self imposed limitations. Some artists chose limited color range, some chose exploring art mark making. An amazing outpouring of creative production rose from this first task, generating a wide range of very well informed results. I hope to share some of these with you after I gain artist permission for the use of their works in my blog.

For now, I share with you the paintings I have created on this Journey so far. I lost my studio about a month ago and this program gave me the impetus to resume painting again. For that, I am indeed very grateful.

The artist’s hand.