Updated: Oct 16, 2018

Interview with online magazine and creative community Gone Missing.


You have to take more than a few steps back to admire London-based painter Maddie Hill's huge abstract pieces, but as we learned it turns out the beauty is all in the details. We chatted with her about her background and inspiration behind it all.

Do you have a major source of inspiration or does it seem to be a combination of what is going on around you?

What is going on around me is definitely key, my paintings always seem to subconsciously reflect the seasons that they are painted in colour-wise. This has a lot to do with why my moving to London so recently has shaken things up a bit. I’ve always lived in places where I am either surrounded by nature or where open natural spaces are easily accessible. In a such a big city I can’t really walk out of my door and see a beautiful piece of bark or a huge field of cracked earth. I find I have to take a day to go searching for this inspiration which is a bit of a challenge, but one I am adjusting to.

Scale is vital. My paintings are quite large ( I like the canvas to be bigger than I am).

For example when I was on a residency in Iceland this summer I loved being stood in these awe inspiring landscapes that stretched for miles, and at your feet is a tiny piece of lava with so much beauty within it. This play off of detail within scale is something that I try to connect with in the paintings. I want to create something that can capture someone's attention for a short while as they step closer to view the details and back to view to full picture.

What are the steps to your process if you have any?

The first step to any painting is that I spend a while away from the studio just observing nature. This is so important as it gets me thinking about fresh ideas and it gets me so excited to paint. The actual process is the most important part but at the same time there is no fixed process, as strange as that sounds. It’s important to say that besides a rough idea, I don't plan the painting out in any way I like it to be intuitive and random. Each one takes about a month to complete on average and I will leave it and come back to it several times. It will also change dramatically throughout the process.

This can be something found in an art shop, a hardware store, anywhere really. But I do this so that in every painting there is an experiment, it keeps it unpredictable, it keeps it exciting for me, and it means that each painting stands out and has a thing of it’s own. Most recently I’ve discovered powdered Gouache which I’ve been enjoying using with latex.

At Gone Missing we're attempting to celebrate people that are passionate about what they do and reflect this through their lifestyle. How important is your art/work to you and the importance of it on your daily life?

I think that the art you make shouldn’t just be subjective to when you are making a painting or writing a song or anything like that. In order for it to be true and honest it should be with you all the time no matter what you’re doing, so in that sense it’s always there. Observation is probably the most important thing for me. I’m always looking for something that I might find visually exciting wherever I am, and this usually comes in the form of some sort of decay.

For example I’m working on a collection of paintings which is about decay, specifically things like mould. I also enjoy collecting ‘stuff’ from the streets that other people might overlook or see as rubbish but I can get excited about it. Before I fell in love with painting on canvas I used to only paint on found materials from skips or the streets. Doing all of these things and being constantly on the look out for something exciting is a great way to appreciate whats going on around you. So much beauty can get lost otherwise and it’s important to notice things and ask questions about them.

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