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Noted in Passing: The Watercolors of Cathy Hillegas

The holy is nothing but the ordinary, held up to the light and profoundly seen.”

This quote, by Dr. Kendyl Gibbons, explains in a nutshell why I paint. The miraculous is all around us. Treasures lie at our feet, bend in the wind above our heads, and unfurl on stems at our kneecaps. Usually, we walk right by without seeing them. Every painting is an attempt to say, “Stop! Look at this. No, really. Take a minute and really see.” — Cathy Hillegas

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  • ghostsniper August 12, 2021, 12:31 PM

    The first two are sycamore’s.
    Got em all over the place around here, 3 biggins right outside my winder hole.
    Leave’s as big as turkey platters.

  • PA Cat August 12, 2021, 1:16 PM

    A welcome respite from the antics of the Bidens and Obamas; we can all benefit from the loveliness of the natural world.

  • TrangBang68 August 12, 2021, 2:31 PM

    I’m glad you identified that as the work of Cathy Hillegas. I would have mis-identified as the work of Humper Biden, the Meth Period

  • LadyBikki August 12, 2021, 2:43 PM

    So beautiful.
    And I needed the break from a horrible, no good, terrible day.
    Dear eldest daughter, who works for the VA, and son in law, Iraq and Afganistan vet and now full time National Guard, have both been mandated to get the death jab.
    I’m grateful for small favors….and found, by happy happenstance, the recipe for the Holy Cookie.
    And I’m a damn good cook…can’t wait to try this.
    There is still beauty and joy in this world.
    Hanging on by fingernails but hanging on.

  • gwbnyc August 12, 2021, 3:46 PM


    Had one on our property line when I was a boy- when I saw the pic I recalled the particular odor of the leaves when fallen, especially when rolled between the palms. And the scattered shards of bark rendered. A rather vivid recollection.

    My father disliked them because the leaves and bark surrounded their trunks in continual disorder, but he was a man who was never out of his coat, tie, and Dobbs hat.

  • Vanderleun August 12, 2021, 4:41 PM

    The Holy Cookie?? I should bring that back. It’s time for the perfect cookie.

  • gwbnyc August 12, 2021, 5:01 PM

    do it
    do it
    do it


  • jwm August 12, 2021, 5:47 PM

    It’s nice having a good sized monitor to take in the pictures. Even so, a .jpg on a web site can scarcely do justice to the original. I’d love to see these live on stage. A good portrait can give a glimpse into the soul. These watercolors capture that moment of transcendence that we are sometimes lucky enough to catch in the web of our own experience. Beautiful stuff.


  • Kevin in PA August 12, 2021, 6:03 PM

    Water colors? Really? Wow!
    Such beauty is refreshing and centering in the midst of all the lies and rot.

  • Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat August 12, 2021, 6:54 PM

    Beautiful! Thank you!

  • Anonymous August 13, 2021, 5:32 AM

    Amazing, Gerard. Thank you!

  • lpdbw August 13, 2021, 8:27 AM

    re: Military death jab
    It’s rumored you can apply for, and perhaps receive, a religious exemption.
    You may want to start investigating that now.

    It didn’t work for me at my private employer. But hope springs eternal.

  • James ONeil August 13, 2021, 8:28 AM

    Watercolor as a versatile and enduring art medium, is underrated. Watercolor artists are underappreciated.

    Actually I’m down with that. Results in more art that’s art, not political, social justice, aware awake propaganda.

  • Dirk August 13, 2021, 8:35 AM

    Awesome, this stuff is why I’m here. My chill pill


  • ghostsniper August 13, 2021, 1:30 PM

    My wife and I are small time art collectors. Our Florida custom home was designed with the idea of “Sun, Sand, and Surf” with the premise to showcase the artwork we have collected. My favorite 2 pieces flank the fireplace and are water colors done by a Cape Coral artist named David Belling. One is of an old fishing shack marina along Pine Island Sound where I have put boats in many times. The other is of the old Captain Can’s house in Bokeelia, facing out onto Charlotte Harbor before I remodeled it into the Tarpon Inn in the mid 90’s. Yes, I have a water color painting of a building I actually did work on. From 10′ away both paintings look like photographs. Look Belling up.

    I’m working with plywood today. Lots of plywood. Stuff got heavier since the last time I worked with it. About 52 pounds per sheet. I have 66 sheets to install on a ceiling, total, and so far I have done 20. I originally figured I’d be done tomorrow but as it stands right now I believe it won’t be done til Sunday. I’m already hurting but I’m going to do 2 more sheets to finish up a row, then I’m done for the day. Tomorrow when I get up I might feel murdered.

    So I went out on the bridge between my workshop and house and took a break. It was about 2:30 and the sun was hot and the air was very humid. I laid right down on the bare assed deck and stared straight up. Into the 30′ long branches of a large double trunked sycamore tree. I tilted my head to the left slightly and the light filtered through the leaves giving them a light green-yellowish tint, sort of transparent. Shannon came over and laid down. right. on. me. I laid there for about 5 mins and Shannon was making my arm go to sleep so I told her to get off of me and she just stared at me, acting like she didn’t know what I was saying. I pushed her off, stood up, almost faltered, and came into the cold AC in my office. Break time is over, that plywood isn’t going to haul it’s own ass up onto that workshop ceiling. I gotta go out there and give it an inspirational nudge….

  • Vanderleun August 13, 2021, 6:23 PM

    ghostsniper, if you live anywhere near Palmetto or Bradenton send me an email. Thanks.

    In the meantime, since you are working over head and perhaps with ladders, let’s review:

  • ghostsniper August 14, 2021, 4:59 AM

    Gerard, thanks for adding the Belling pik. Nice, aren’t they? We no longer live in FL though our son and his fambly live there. Our “Florida house” is in Cape Coral and much of the design work I do is on the barrier islands off the coast there. Pine Island, Sanibel, Captiva, Useppa, Cayo Costa, Boca Grande, etc. Palmetto and Bradenton are about 75 miles north of where we lived, close to Tampa. I’ve been to both but am not familiar with them. Do you have a question? I lived in SW FL for 40 years.

  • Sid V August 14, 2021, 5:47 AM

    There is a stately sycamore a couple blocks away from me, the top 2/3 as white as can be. The sun hits it just right at dawn, when everything else is still in shadow. So beautiful.

  • Vanderleun August 14, 2021, 9:55 AM

    ghost, Just has an old, good friend who lives down in Palmetto that I thought you might like to meet.

  • ghostsniper August 14, 2021, 11:08 AM

    I probably would like to meet and talk with them Gerard. But I ain’t driving 1200 miles to do so. Thanks!
    PS, maybe YOU could use a little cross country road trip! Florida’s supposed to be a red state, ya know.
    On your way back you could stop by here, and me and Gnawbone Jack would take you out for a giant 14″ tenderloin sandwich and Jack would give you a tour of the finest hardware store you have ever seen.

  • ghostsniper August 14, 2021, 1:42 PM

    Good ladder video, BTW.