Steamboat artist shifts nature’s shapes in artwork |

Steamboat artist shifts nature’s shapes in artwork

Nicole Inglis

Steamboat Springs artist Rebecca Hilley will have her work featured this month at Creekside Cafe.

— Scattered among Rebecca Hilley's own artwork in her sunlit Saddle Mountain Ranch home are the oil paintings of her father, Hal Rice.

It was under his watchful eye that Hilley followed the same path of a life in art, developing and refining her own style throughout the past 30 years.

With an eye for the texture of the Yampa Valley's aspen trees and a penchant for the softness of pastels, Hilley paints subjects ranging from pheasants and landscapes to portraits and collages of various forms of specialty paper.

"It's me, it's impressionist," she said about her work. "You know what you're looking at, but it's not what you would just go outside and see."

A show of her work hangs this month at Creekside Cafe, and a reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday during First Friday Artwalk.

Hilley said she rarely duplicates an image from a photograph. Instead, she paints en plein air or focuses on creating an image from her imagination and emotions.

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She works in a variety of mediums, but her work shares a common sensuality and softness that sets it apart from her father's.

Oil pastels, she said, are a favorite because she uses her fingers a lot when painting.

"It's very delicate, and the colors are so vibrant," she said.

With watercolors, it's the spontaneity that attracts her; with collage, it's the sculptural element. But it doesn't matter which medium she works in — she couldn't imagine herself doing anything else.

As her father shared his craft with her, she also likes to pass on her love for creating. Every week, she meets with a developmentally disabled resident and helps him tap into his creative side.

"It's a hard way to make a living," she said about a career in art. "But it's that creative outlet, of course. Anytime I paint … that's definitely a good day."

First Friday Artwalk listings in Steamboat for Nov. 4

❱❱ Artists' Gallery of Steamboat, 1009 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-4744

The Small Gallery features several works donated by AGS artists for a raffle that will support youth art programs. Raffle tickets are available with a suggested donation of between $10 and $100, but there is no cost required to enter the drawing.

❱❱ Mangelsen-Images of Nature, 730 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-1822

Thomas D. Mangelsen long has been recognized as one of the world's premier nature photographers. For more than 30 years, Mangelsen has traveled throughout the natural world photographing a variety of ecosystems and wildlife.

❱❱ K. Saari Gallery, 837 Lincoln Ave., 970-870-0188

Michael Dowling's Cake and Pretty Horses is on display during the month of November, featuring new paintings and prints by the Denver-based artist.

❱❱ Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts, 906 Lincoln Ave., 970-846-5970

This month features a very special installation by new artist member Jamie Horacek: ceiling-high working models of cranes — not birds but rather the construction machinery. Imagine a 12-foot-high, made-to-scale, hand-wrought crane that actually lifts a model of a piece of equipment. Each tiny piece is handmade and an exact, precise replica of the one on the actual crane. Horacek will be doing demonstrations during Artwalk and on every Sunday in November. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine.

❱❱ Wild Horse Gallery, 802 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-5515

Wild Horse Gallery will be featuring the work of Chula Beauregard, including original oil paintings and small prints.

❱❱ Sleeping Giant Gallery, 601 Lincoln Ave., 970-879-7143

Local art by nature photographer Don Tudor, Raku stoneware and porcelain by Brown Cannon.

❱❱ artworks, The Victoria Building, 941 Lincoln Ave. 970-879-7596

From concrete countertops to hardware, ironwork, cabinetry, quilting, ceramics, fabrics and murals to fine furniture and lighting, rugs, towel bars, tile and flooring, signage and framing.

❱❱ Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, 68 Ninth St., 970-879-6830

Off the Beaten Path is displaying paintings and drawings from Cori Ducombs. Her use of bold colors and intricate designs illuminates the interconnectedness within nature and the human experience. This exhibition showcases an abstract combination of human figure and landscape.

❱❱ Jim Steinberg Photography/Portfolio Collection,1016 Oak St., 970-879-3718

Portfolio Collection will be featuring a new series of beautiful Colorado fall photos.

❱❱ Comb Goddess, 1104 Lincoln Ave., 970-871-0606

Artist and photographer Julia Ortiz's "Ways I Have Altered" embraces the idea of journey and discovery. Ortiz flirts with imperfections in minute detail only to showcase them boldly with colors and textures.

❱❱ Creekside Cafe, 131 11th St., 970-879-4925

This month, Creekside is featuring the work of Rebecca Hilley. Rebecca has developed a distinctive style combining watercolor, pastel and collage using various handmade papers and has been painting most of her life. Her paintings express a strong sense of free movement and boldness yet are ever-so-delicate in concept.

❱❱ Urbane, 703 Lincoln Ave., Suite B101, 970-879-9169

Urbane presents its annual "Call For Local Artists," featuring work from several local artists in a variety of mediums.

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email

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