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My Story

I knew who I was from the time I was very young.  Even before I could verbalize it, I knew.   I saw things and sensed things that others around me did not. I was viewed as odd and challenging; I was different, someone to be wary of.

From the beginning I was not who my parents wanted or expected—I was a child full of wildness, challenging everything, questioning everything and speaking my mind.  

I did not blindly follow the rules.

I began drawing and painting when I was quite young.  Becoming an artist felt like the very essence of who I was.  That realization became very clear.  But for years, I abandoned my path in order to survive. 

I stopped painting for over 20 years as a result. 

The relationships I formed during that period, with both men and women, reinforced a feeling I had that somehow who I was, was not “right”.  My value was only in what I could provide for others.   

In 2000, after a serious car accident, a friend suggested that I start painting again as a way to heal.  I had no use of my right arm and hand, so I began in a small corner of my bedroom with a student grade watercolor set and a pad of paper.  Teaching myself to work with my left hand was challenging, but the colors and forms that emerged as a result transformed me.      

The colors and forms showing up became symbols of a self that I had abandoned long ago in order to survive.       


When I began showing some of my paintings to others, I realized that what I was expressing had meaning and power for more than my own healing. 

Over the next few years I began to find my voice.  I left a 27-year marriage and became a single mother. Relationships came and went, but when I reunited with my high school sweetheart in 2005, I finally had someone who wanted to support me in pursuing my art.  

Unfortunately, I became seriously ill during the time after my divorce and getting remarried—too ill to work and support myself. I was totally dependent upon someone else for the first time. 

My independence was gone; my sense of self destroyed. My body was deteriorating before my eyes and I was powerless to do anything about it.

But painting helped me find myself in the midst of total upheaval, loss and grief. Each new piece told me more about my inner reality than anything my conscious mind could reveal.  Even though I felt blind and lost, the images that appeared guided me. The identity that I had built, that had enabled me to survive all those years of abuse, finally died. 

But there were more challenges ahead.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with cancer—my world came crashing down around me again.  I was blindsided.  Everything stopped; I was back in survival mode. 

During my recovery from surgery and radiation, I went back into the studio that had been my saving grace.  

Strangely, my painting wasn’t enough. 

There was something else calling to me, something I had tucked away long ago. 

I wanted to work with fabrics and stones.  My vision was to transform my paintings into fabrics so that I could wear my art and surround myself with that healing energy all the time.  I needed the comfort of texture as well as the healing power of crystals and stones.  

I had been receiving whispers from my soul; they began to grow louder.   Sometimes I listened; other times I was too afraid, too stubborn or too unconscious. 

But this time I listened, and have embraced my true journey. 

My journey has been to heal myself from the abusive patterns of my lineage and to reclaim sovereignty over my life.   It is to live my life walking my unique path, a path carved from following my heart and soul, my true voice.  

It is to use my art, my medicine, in healing myself and offering that healing to others.

Today, my studio is filled with gorgeous fabrics; my  paintings are hanging on the walls.

I have created a sacred space for myself both inside my studio and outside, an environment where I can connect deeply with my truth. 

I have an altar set up in a secluded space in the loft of my studio where I do ritual and  ceremony.   

My home, my gardens, my studio are filled with reminders of what is most sacred and true.  

I have surrounded myself with symbols, images, and objects that remind me of who I am and why I am here.

Those objects are sacred mirrors as are my paintings, mirrors in which I see my true self each time I look.  

I listen for guidance and follow the call when it comes, clear now that my health and my life depend on it. 

It is an organic process mirroring the way I paint. 

I am an artist in every sense of the word, not just in what I do, but in how I create my life.  

Dk Hillard


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Our printer uses archival inks and materials in their printing process. This means that your prints will maintain their quality and integrity over time. Most materials are guaranteed for 100+ years as long as they are well cared for and kept out of direct sunlight, extreme temperature changes and liquids. Our metal prints are archival for 400+ years. Rest assured that your prints can be enjoyed for generations to come.


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