G.S. Hill (b. 1944)

To say this artist is largely self taught is an understatement. Gregory Hill was taught by the surf. He learned while repairing the vessels in a harbor and accumulated his painterly vocabulary while traveling around – and around and around – the world.

Born in California, and perhaps tutored, or at least encouraged in the “how tos” of painterly observation by his mother, then an art director for a newspaper in Oregon, Greg completed his first oil painting at the age of 12.  Young Mr. Hill endured some architectural training at a university level, and even engaged an art class or two; but his instincts told him there was more to learn outside of academic disciplines. At 19 he set out for Europe, choosing to journal what he observed in images rather than words.

Gregory Hill is both draftsman and documentarian. He retreats to his studio every single day, pondering what once was against what is, in the street scapes, architectural portraits, vistas and sailing vessels he portrays on canvas.  Among his oeuvre of representational works, his interest in evolution of place influences each and every composition, as the artist colors light and dark the way hours evolve the day: long morning shadows, hot reflective sunlight, sunset haze. At the hand of this artist, each scene might be construed in multiples, according to the arch of the sun as it circles the sea, a golf course, an historic landmark.

Look for texture in the oil paintings; a slightly romanticized precision in the pencil drawings and watercolors. Discover movement in skies and fields, in billowed sales, lacquered ships’ rails and sparkling water.  Look for history in facades, trees, streets and walkways. Look for what’s familiar. See it  through an artist’s eyes.

GS Hill opened his first gallery in Seal Beach, CA in 1969. By 1972 he was once again traveling; this time with his wife, Judi. He painted and sketched as they traveled, selling the work in summer art fairs, until settling in Maui in 1974. During the next decades, one man shows in Europe, Japan, Australia, the Hawaiian Islands and eventually Nantucket established GS Hill solidly among collectors.

Hill’s first exhibit on Nantucket was at the Harbour Gallery, on Old South Wharf, where began a solid relationship between the couple and the community. Both far-reaching and generous, the Hills donate largely to the island’s not for profits; as much as $30-40,000 annually is raised through the sale of GS Hill paintings; for Hospice, AIDS, the Hospital, Childrens’ Charity Classic, NHA and more.  In 1994, proceeds from a GS Hill historic painting that marked the Centennial of the Nantucket Historical Association channeled $14,000 for the Edouard Stackpole papers.   A series of 8 graphite drawings that span 1979-1993 remain in the NHA’s permanent collection.

Recent Examples at Auction