The Astoundingly Dramatic Atmospheres of Hilary Brace

ImageUsing a few simple tools, Hilary Brace is capable of creating these amazing otherworldy cloud formations and landscapes. To create these dramatic works, she begins by using a polyester film surface and darkens it with charcoal, then deftly works away at it with erasers. Her technique is nothing short of miraculous in it’s refined approach and the result is almost photographic in quality.

When I compose an image I work without premeditation, beginning with only a vague suggestion, so the places I make often surprise me as they unfold in a series of unanticipated discoveries. The subjects change and shift as a nascent world comes slowly into focus. Even though my desire is to create places and events that are vivid and seem true—to make impossible places tangible—they stay elusive and enigmatic to me.

In the end, the drawings are both a record of discovery and a means of re-experiencing the mystery. They also remind me of our desire to search for truth and meaning as we encounter and attempt to define our shifting world, even if such a search might be futile.”

This incredible explorative process is what I think captures such an intense psychic manifestation and unanticipated primordial effect. The fact that each piece is created without premeditation, also mirrors the unexpected nature of atmospheric phenomena. No wonder she’s received so many awards and acclamations, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1993, an California Arts Fellowship, and numerous grants over the years.

Check out her website.

To buy prints, visit her page on


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