The Waterfowl Festival is proud to announce painter and Eastern Shore favorite, Matthew Hillier as its 2015 Featured Artist. Hillier, an Easton resident, has been exhibiting at the Festival for the past ten years, most recently in the Art at the Armory Gallery on Harrison Street.
“We are thrilled to be working with Matthew this year,” said Albert Pritchett, Waterfowl Festival Board President. “We are so fortunate to have Matthew as a local talent, and it’s our privilege to showcase his work to our regional and national audience in November. We are especially excited about his ‘Reflections of the Eastern Shore’ Collection that will feature the wildlife and beautiful habitats the Festival strives to preserve.”
Hillier was born in Buckinghamshire, England, and spent most of his life on the south coast of England. Drawing and painting animals is something he has loved to do since he was a child. Hillier’s father was a museum designer who taught his son the rudiments of painting with watercolor. He is now best known for his acrylic paintings, although he loves the challenge of oils.
Traveling widely in search of subjects to study and paint, Hillier has visited Africa many times, India, other parts of Europe, and Southeast Asia and finds himself drawn to water birds. Since moving to the States, he has begun painting marine subjects and North American animals.
“I have always loved and painted birds and animals. I have been lucky enough to travel the world looking for subjects to paint. When I moved to the Eastern Shore, it opened up a whole new world to me. I love painting the birds, boats, landscapes and people of the Bay. Living here is an endless source of inspiration,” said Hillier. I love exhibiting at the Festival because it gives me the opportunity to put together a collection of paintings and show my work with the other great artists in the show. Most importantly, it is my local show and I am so proud to be part of it. The Waterfowl Festival allows me to share my deep love for this unique gem of a place with its birds, boats and water.”
Among many other accolades, Hillier has been a regular illustrator for the Guinness Book of World Records, has participated in Christie’s Wildlife Art Auction, and has been selected to exhibit at the prodigious “Birds In Art” exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum for many years. He has won the World Wildlife Fund Fine Art Award and has received The Society of Animal Artists’ Award of Excellence three times. His work has appeared on the cover of Wildlife Art Magazine and one of his paintings was chosen by US Art as one of their top 50 paintings of that year. Hillier is a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, The Royal Institute, The Miniature Society, The Paris Salon, The Royal Society of Marine Artists, The Biarritz Salon, The Society of Wildlife Artists and a member of the Society of Animal Artists.
As Featured Artist, Hillier will create the 2015 Waterfowl Festival Poster image, inspired by the “Reflections of the Eastern Shore” Collection. That image, as well as others from the collection will be released in early Summer.