by Krystle Cole
Several weeks ago, I came across Rebecca Ann Hill’s visionary artwork on Facebook. I really enjoyed it, so I thought I’d contact her for an interview to learn more about her and her work.
RAH: Yes, it would be my pleasure, Krystle. I’m from a small town in North Carolina called Morehead City. It’s a quiet little beach town and I like it there. However, deep down, I’ve always known that I belonged some place else– as there wasn’t much of an opportunity for an art career there, and I was eager to explore the world. This is why I’m now living in beautiful Santa Cruz, California, and totally love it here. There’s an active community of visionary thinkers and creative people living here, and the art scene is totally exploding– so I feel like this is where I belong. Creativity is always flowing through me, as well as all around me, and it is a huge part of my life!
KC: What inspires you to make artwork?
RAH: You know, ever since I’ve been a child, I’ve always loved drawing, painting, and expressing my creativity in some form or another. Once I got a bit older, I discovered that creating artwork was the best way for me to process my everyday feelings. My creative work has been a vital outlet for me when dealing with overwhelming emotions and past traumas. I chose visual art as a career because I feel absolutely destined to do so– like I have no other choice than to help raise consciousness, and contribute to the spiritual healing of this wayward planet and the transformation of the world through the externalization of my imagination.
Something much bigger than myself communicated this mission to me, letting me know that I’m supposed to be sharing my imagination, my dreams, and my shamanic journeys with others. Making art is the best way for me to express and share these visions. These powerful emotions that I have felt, the– sometimes lucid and often vivid– dreams that I’ve had, and the extraordinary visions that I’ve seen while voyaging, are all so meaningful to me and that’s where I get my inspiration to create my artwork.
RAH: Thank you, Krystle. That’s one of my favorite pieces too and there’s an interesting story behind it. Here’s what happened. I was lying in bed, late one night. It was dark and I was drifting off, in a half-asleep, half awake state of hyponogogia. As I was lying there in this dreamy state of altered consciousness, I started seeing re-arranging visions superimposed upon the skylight. There were shimmering reflections and dancing shadows twinkling off of the window, and these flickering movements began to connect with one another and form a flow of fascinating imagery. I allowed my imagination to take over, and this led me to visualize the scene in my head– of an earth-spirit woman raising a bundle of hungry flowers up to the sun– which became the centerpiece of my painting “Blossoming Visions.”
At the time, I was thinking about how everything in the universe is connected, how we all need proper nourishment, and how we all need to help take care of one another. I envisioned a woman and a flower growing up from the same place, inside of a clear vase, and needing the same source of light as their nourishment. The woman then helps to lift the flowers high up, so they can both receive the vital nourishing energy from the sun and thrive. The “sun” in this painting is “the eye of awareness,” which represents the web of consciousness that connects everything together. Once we notice that we’re all connected, it certainly brightens things up a bit. So that was my thought process. Then, the next morning, I wrote it all down in my journal and shared it with David. He loved my vision and encouraged me paint it.
KC: Have you used psychedelics? If so, would you share what you learned from your most profound experience?
RAH: Yes, I’ve had some life-changing, shamanic experiences with entheogens in the past, and they had a significant influence on my imagination and artwork. Overall, my entheogenic experiences have taught me that we really are all one; we are all connected and we have to love and care for one another– and this includes all of nature. On a more personal level, entheogens have showed me that everyone is different, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to be, it is ok to just be your unique self, and it’s best to never judge others.
RAH: I did once have a frightening experience that made me feel pretty uneasy, and was upsetting and unsettling for me, where I was confronted with some deep and primal fears. During this experience I felt like I was experiencing the traumas of people that I loved and was confronted by the dark specter of death. This became a bit difficult for me to handle while I was lying in the dark, as there where some painful memories that I didn’t want to review in this heightened state of awareness. Turning on the lights, cuddling with my boyfriend, listening to upbeat music and viewing spiritually-uplifting artwork, brought me back and turned the experience around. My boyfriend started dancing really silly, which made me laugh. It ended up becoming a profoundly transformative rebirth experience. I no longer use entheogens, but honor my sacred experiences with them, and now find that meditation and lucid dreaming practice provide me with the visionary experiences essential for my spiritual growth and creative inspiration.
RAH: Yes, I’m really excited about this book! The book is a collaborative project between David and I, where we express our love and journeys through poetry and painting. David wrote 10 magical poems, and I did 10 original paintings that go together in the book. To create this book, I painted 5 paintings that were inspired by 5 of David’s poems, and he did 5 poems that were inspired by 5 of my paintings. Often times, we were painting and writing together simultaneously—which appeared to supercharge the synergistic creativity between us! The book will be published in December by Brainchild Productions.
KC: Where can folks view more of your artwork? Any current or upcoming exhibitions?
RAH: My website is the best way to stay current with my latest projects and events:www.Rebeccaannhill.com. This is where copies of our book will be available soon, and I also have a online shop as part of my website, where I sell my original paintings, and also offer prints. Additionally, I have a public fan page on Facebook that I also keep up to date and post on almost daily: www.facebook.com/Rebecca-Ann-Hill-720777588067864/…. On my Facebook page I post photos of my latest paintings, drawings, and material that I find inspirational or informative about the creative arts. After I finish the collaborative book with David, my next project will be to put together the paintings for a gallery show here in Santa Cruz. I’ll be announcing the details on my website. Thank you so very much for your interest in my work, Krystle, and for your great questions. I really love your artwork too, and this has been a lot of fun!