Born and raised in the Northeast countryside, Hilary Couch grew up climbing trees, pocketing frogs, and collecting bird feathers. Adventuring in her backyard as a child brought a freedom that she has rediscovered through creating art. Most of her adult life was dedicated to the study of clinical psychology, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and a Master of Art in Clinical Psychology. The healing journey of becoming a psychotherapist as well as Buddhist pilgrimages to Japan and India provided the necessary steps toward an unfolding of self that allowed her awakening to art. Playing with color, design, and texture brought her back to the bliss she felt as a child exploring her natural environment. Soon after complete immersion into art classes and workshops, her achievements attained recognition. Hilary received the Studio Art Award from Cabrillo College and 2nd prize at SCAL’s 79th Annual Statewide Exhibition, Irreplaceable Places: Contemporary Landscape Painters. She has also been invited and accepted into various group shows, including Santa Cruz Open Studios, a regional juried event that educates the public about the arts.
When a surprise injury limited her physical abilities, she surrendered to the moment and began to experiment with leftover materials such as nails and paper, allowing the process to be the focal point rather than the visual goal. Hilary’s approach continues to reside in the moment as she cleverly merges a variety of materials into her own order, often salvaging objects and coaxing beauty from their parts. Once an idea has been explored or a material exhausted, she starts a new project. This style encourages her to remain in a beginner’s mindset, full of wonder and possibility. Her work is born from a fresh place of discovery, and although each series contrasts notably, an intimacy with the work softens the distance between each piece and reveals Hilary’s own cohesive language