Roaring Fork Valley artist’s work a family affair
September 30, 2005
Art was the big bond between Sybil Hill and her father, Irving. Growing up in Texas, Sybil would spend days in dad’s studio, the two painting side by side. Weekends were devoted to family outings to museums and galleries. The elder Hill had decent success as an artist, even showing in Dallas museums. But it wasn’t enough to support a family, and art became a sidelight to his insurance business.”I grew up watching my father have the passion, the serious passion,” said Sybil, 40. “But also this sadness that he couldn’t do it as a business.”By the time Hill had her own child, Brigette, three and a half years ago, art had fallen by the wayside in favor of retail positions at Manrico and Tod’s in Aspen. And she found a sadness of her own that her jobs meant significant time away from her daughter. So Hill, separated from Brigette’s father, turned back to art, figuring she could stay home and paint – and maybe earn enough money to raise her child.Thinking about what to paint, Hill thought about her Texas roots, the Roaring Fork Valley she has lived in for eight years, and something that would have commercial, artistic and spiritual appeal. Just as she was thinking about horses, equine topics entered her conversation at home.”I’d lie in bed at night with my daughter, and she’d look in the sky and say, ‘Look, mommy. Horses!” Hill said. “I think children have a connection to things we can’t see. They feel what you’re going through.”Hill painted horses in a variety of media and styles, layering them over newspaper articles, Mozart sheet music, maps and her own poetry. The final touch on several works are scribbles, contributed by Brigette. Irving makes the wood supports for the pieces. And Hill’s sister, Ingrid Magidson, is part of the picture: Hill is having her first exhibit at Magidson Fine Art, owned by Ingrid and her husband, Jay. The show, which also features oil paintings by Basaltine KC Lockrem, opens with a reception at 6 p.m. today.