John W. Hilton
John W. Hilton
Peace and Quiet
- Oil on masonite
- Panel: 16“ high x 20” wide
- Frame: 21” high x 25” wide
- Signature: Lower right; faintly titled in pencil on reverse
PRICE: SOLD INQUIRE
About the work
The tranquility and beauty of the desert that John Hilton (1904-1983) expressed in “Peace and Quiet” was a lifelong source of inspiration for his work. Hilton painted at least one other piece at this same location, which he identified as the Sheep Hole Mountains in the Mojave Desert north of Joshua Tree National Park.
In an article from the March 1960 edition of Arizona Highways, Hilton declared: "This is my desert! It extends through Arizona, southern California, Nevada, southern Utah, New Mexico and northern Mexico states of Sonora, Chihuaha, Sinaloa and Baja California. . . . It is a land of peace, silence and boundless skies.”
Hilton’s early artistic endeavors were filled with frustration, but in the 1930s and 40s he worked with, and was encouraged by, many of the fine painters who visited or lived in the desert, including Nicolai Fechin, Maynard Dixon, Jimmy Swinnerton, and Clyde Forsythe.
Dixon in particular had two profound effects on Hilton: First, he convinced Hilton to throw away his early paintings, even though some had won awards at smaller exhibitions and shows. Hilton later remarked that an artist could never progress to the next level if he fell in love with his work. Dixon also convinced him to throw away his brushes and use a knife. Dixon felt Hilton's images were too precise, almost photographic. Hilton claimed that converting to knife painting was a relatively effortless transition if only because he easily tired of cleaning brushes.
Gradually the recognition and accolades came, and Hilton eventually became one of the few artists of his day to enjoy significant commercial and critical success during his lifetime.
Hilton’s works have been widely exhibited, including the Biltmore Salon Los Angeles; the Riverside Mission Inn; Paschke’s Gallery in Riverside; the Laguna Beach Art Gallery; Los Angeles City Hall and Public Library; the Southwest Museum; Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco; La Jolla Art Gallery; Desert Magazine Art Gallery; the Desert Art Center of Palm Springs, and numerous other galleries and shows where his works were often sellouts.
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