Hilarie Couture


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    Hilarie Couture


    Pastel 24 x 18

    I Just Love a Good Tea Party...Don't You? by Hilarie Couture was awarded Outstanding Pastel in the June 2019 BoldBrush Painting Competition.




    Hilarie started to draw at the age of two. She drew faces that resembled Margaret Keanes' sad eye kids from the sixties, ballet dancers and horses.  Her love of art continued through high school, and she entered college at Washington University in St. Louis, as a fashion design and medical illustration major. She attended college for less than two years, discouraged that the core classes for her major had nothing to do with art. She left school and hitchhiked out to San Francisco to draw portraits in charcoal and pastel on the streets. With virtually no formal art training, she was able to survive by selling her portraits and traveled around the country doing that for a few years.

    One day she met a hairdresser that traded a haircut for a pastel portrait drawing and convinced her to go to beauty school to get a "real" job. After a few years in the cosmetology field, she started taking photography classes and loved developing film in the darkroom and styling the photo shoots. She pursued both the hair and photography, but abandoned her drawing skills completely for over thirty five years.

    As life took over she continued working in different fields to make a living.  She became an auctioneer, appraiser, and realtor owning a combination salon, auction gallery and antique mall where she performed all of those jobs together under the same roof.   All of these careers provided a creative outlet for her, but  in 2010, at age 55, Hilarie went back to college and got a degree in historic building preservation.   A new door opened  to her renewed artistic path. One of the classes required her to paint a mural that won an award.  Upon viewing the project, her instructor remarked that she had missed her calling and that she should have been doing art all along.  That experience was an eye-opener and now Hilarie is oil painting and attempting to make up for lost time.  She is  a full time artist, life long learner and seeks creativity daily.  Although self taught, she has attended workshops from some notable artists whom she admires such as Dan Gerhartz, Carolyn Anderson, Zhoaming Wu, Casey Baugh, Max Ginsburg,  Slava Korolenkov, Eric Bowman, Mitch Baird, and Rose Frantzen.


    "All of the history of my life   informs what I do,  all those trials and triumphs  translate to the canvas… I believe that the portraits and figures give me what I have always strived for, as I so desperately wanted a connection with people, to feel loved and validated from an early age.  Portraits… probably because facial recognition  is the first form of communication.  The intimacy that becomes through sitter to artist to viewer is a very personal bond…  however eye contact can be uncomfortable  in a painting  as Margaret Keane said…  eyes are the mirror to the soul. I think my paintings tell their stories and mine through the faces ."


    "I believe that God gave me this natural gift ,but the more I have grown to understand art, the harder painting has become.  Naively, at first I remember not really thinking, just enjoying the process of painting ,but now that I know things, it is hard.  I still enjoy the process but I am constantly asking myself..what is the color, temp, value …are my brushstrokes expressive enough, etc... It is a journey.

    I am primarily a direct painter, prefer life but work from photos,  I prefer oil for its various qualities ...thick to thin.then pastel, oil pastel colored pencil ,charcoal, and experimenting with mixed media and water media.  My journey has taken me from photorealism to romantic impressionism to what I now want to do .. as  contemporary abstracted reality.  Which brings me to the thought ... is  there really anything new in art?  Someone else has already probably already done it.   


    My heritage is Russian and I'd like to think  I am secretly channeling Fechin as he died in 1955 ,the year I was born so I could carry his legacy.   I feel that my work has the energy of the Russian impressionists and I strive to execute the color and light effects with paint.  I love so many masters...  Bongart, Mancini, Sorrolla, Sargent, Zorn, Waterhouse, Mucha, Klimt,  etc. Richard Schmid  and on and on  so many contemporaries…..I discover new artists daily, …

    My work, like painting itself, is about  contrasts.   It is  an attempt at balancing the chaos and order, just like my life…I am now painting over earlier canvases leaving some of the image exposed.. I am wanting to try more mixed media elements in my work and be less literal overall ,letting the viewer fill in the details….finding their own story in it ."


    Hilarie Couture’s art is gaining interest with new collectors all over the country. She has been showing work in various galleries and businesses in the Portland / Vancouver area, represented by Attic Gallery in Camas, Washington, and is  currently seeking representation in other areas.   She also teaches workshops, classes and does portrait and other commissions in her studio/gallery in Vancouver, Washington.


    Juried Public Exhibitions

    • 2018 Splendorporium gallery monthly shows, Portland,Oregon
    • 2018 Nwpastel Society members show, Kirkland, Washington
    • 2018 Nwpastel society International show, American Art Company , Tacoma, Washington
    • 2018 International Pastel Society Show, American Art Company, Tacoma, Washington
    • 2018 Celebration of Creativity ,Beaverton, Oregon
    • 2018 Scottsdale Artists School , Best and Brightest  2018 show, Scottsdale artists School, Scottsdale , Arizona
    • 2017 Holiday Small Works Show , National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society, Cathy Kline Gallery , Parkville , Missouri
    • 2017 Northwest Pastel Society Members Show, Portland, Oregon
    • 2017 Northwest Pastel Society, International Show,  American Art Company, Tacoma, Washington
    • 2016 Women Artists of the West, Annual Show, Fredricksburg, Texas
    • 2015/2017 Peoples Art, Big 500 show, Portland, Oregon
    • 2015  Clark County Open Studios, Vancouver, Washington 
    • 2015 Broderick Gallery, Longview ,Washington, Regional Artists                                                                                            
    • 2014 NOAPS National oil and Acrylic Painters Society Best of America Show, Bolivar and Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
    • 2014  Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2014 NOPG Northwest Oil Painters Guild, Hanging at the Summit, Ridgefield, Washington
    • 2014 Rose Festival Show, Oregon Society of Artists, Portland, Oregon
    • 2014 Aurora Gallery, featured artist, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2014 Cascade Aids Project Art Auction, Portland, Oregon
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    Solo Shows

    • 2017 Founding Mothers, Book signing and  final show , Cascade Park Library, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2017 Founding Mothers, Book signing and show , Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2017 Locals Show Invitational, Attic Gallery, Camas, Washington
    • 2017 Touchmark, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2017 Founding Mothers, Ft. Vancouver Visitors Center, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2017 Terwiliger Plaza, Geezer, Gallery, Portland, Oregon
    • 2017 That Which is Beauty, Mt. Hood Community College Fireplace Gallery, Gresham, Oregon
    • 2016 People, Place or Thing, Lava Java Coffee shop, Ridgefield, Washington
    • 2016  Tour of Founding Mother’s Portraits of Progress, Clark County Historical Museum and other locations, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2016 Aurora Gallery, featured artist, February, Women and their Exotic Animal Spirits, Vancouver,Washington
    • 2015 Artsy Shark, featured artist, on line
    • 2015 Broadway Gallery, Guest Artist, month of February, Art From My Heart , Longview, Washington
    • 2014 Muse Art and Design, People and Places of Portland, Portland, Oregon
    • 2014 Second Story Gallery, Les Femmes et les Fleurs Camas, Washington

    Group Exhibitions

    • 2018 Group Show Pathways, Christmans Gallery, Sellwood, Oregon,
    • 2017 Locals Show, Attic Gallery, Camas, Washington
    •  2016 Northwest Oil Painters Guild Annual show, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2016/2018 Society of Washington Artists Spring Show , Vancouver, Washington
    • 2016 For the Love of Portland, Peoples Gallery, Portland ,Oregon
    • 2015 Toys, Aurora Gallery, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2015 Portrait Society show, U.S. Bank, Portland, Oregon                                                                                      
    • 2015 Northwest Oil Painters Guild Annual members show, Vancouver, Washington                             
    • 2015 Clark County Fair, Vancouver, Washington                                                                                               
    • 2015 Trillium Gallery on line published in their monthly magazines                                                                                                                       2015 Lakewood Festival of the Arts Open Show, Lake Oswego, Oregon
    • 2015 Society of Washington Artists Open Show, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2014 Art Factors, Alla Prima Portland, Portland, Oregon
    • 2014 SWA Spring Show, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2014/ 2018 Battleground Art Alliance Spring Show , Battleground, Washington

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    • 2018 Nw Pastel Society members show, jurors award
    • 2018 Nw Pastel Society International show, jurors award
    • 2018 Bold Brush fav 15
    • 2017 Bold Brush fav15 and outstanding pastel finalist
    • 2017  Art Muse Contest, Finalist Emerging Artist August /September
    • 2017 Heaven Art Gallery, first place Love category, Scottsdale, Arizona
    • 2016 Northwest Oil Painters Guild Annual Show , first Place, Third Place and Sponsor award, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2016/2018 Society of Washington Artists Spring show, Best of show, 2nd Place oil painting, 3rd place , Vancouver, Washington
    • 2015 Oil Painters Guild Annual Show, Best of show, 2 Sponsor awards, Vancouver, Washington 
    • 2015 Clark County Fair, first place, Vancouver, Washington           
    • 2015 Lakewood Festival of the Arts, Blue Ribbon, Lake Oswego, Oregon                                                      
    • 2015 SWA Society of Washington Artists, first place oil painting, Vancouver, Washington                      
    • 2014 NOAPS Best of America Show, Best People Painting award, Bolivar , Missouri
    • 2014 NOPG Hanging at the Summit, honorable mention, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2014 Rose Festival Show , third place, Portland, Oregon
    • 2014 SWA Society of Washington Artists Spring Show,  Best of Show , third place , honorable mention and sponsor award, Vancouver, Washington
    • 2018-2014-2013 -2012 Battleground Art Alliance Spring Show, sponsor award, honorable mention , Battleground, Washington

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    • RJ Art Gallery, Mc Minnville, Oregon 
    • Steel Door Gallery, Portland, Oregon
    • Regency Parkway Art, Omaha, Nebraska
    • Attic Gallery, Camas, Washington
    • Xanadu On line , Scottsdale, Arizona                                                                                                                   
    • Artfinder, on line                                                                                                                                                    


    Memberships past and present

    • Pastel Society of America
    • Northwest Pastel Society
    • Northwest Washington Watercolor Society
    • Women Artists of the West
    • American Women Artists
    • Portrait Society of America                                                                                                                                      
    • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society
    • American Impressionist Society
    • Oil Painters of America
    • Alla Prima Portland
    • Northwest Oil Painters Guild

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