Emerging Artists | Steven Hileman

An impressionist for all seasons


Steven Hileman, Left Open, oil, 11 x 14.

This story was featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story

Early on in his fine-art career, Steven Hileman couldn’t imagine becoming a landscape painter. But today he admits that his artistic eye is naturally drawn to the scenes that surround him in Maine’s mid-coastal region. Hileman points out that the variety in the landscape—subject matter, light, texture, and mood—keep him intrigued. “Here in Maine each season is very distinct, and I enjoy exploring the changes each season brings, whether on location or in the studio,” Hileman says. “I find that I tend to respond more acutely to the way landscape paintings create or evoke a sense of place in terms of memories and emotions.”

Hileman occasionally paints still lifes and figurative works, but these days he is more likely found on the state’s rugged, rocky coast or in Acadia National Park—or painting these scenes back in his studio. The artist graduated from Florida’s Pensacola Christian College with a degree in communications and commercial art. Following graduation he worked as a staff illustrator for three years at a publishing company. In his spare time, he painted. After getting married, he and his wife made the decision to pack their bags and head to Maine; both had grown up in northern climes and wanted to return to what they knew as children.

A self-described “realist with impressionistic influences,” Hileman says his goal is to depict the landscape with honesty and immediacy, whether he’s painting a brilliant-orange birch grove in fall or a street blanketed in January snow. The Russian Impressionists, including Abram Arkhipov and Isaac Levitan, are important influences on his work. “I hope to reflect the beauty and gift of life and nature and thereby enrich the lives of others,” Hileman says. “I am always happy to hear from people that they value my art, that my paintings add something to their lives, or that the work in some way benefits them, whether it is just a reminder that there is beauty in the world to celebrate or whether the work evokes a memory or emotion.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff

Argosy Gallery, Bar Harbor, ME.

Featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art December 2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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