As an artist, Beatrice Hill is a true renaissance woman. She has expertise in working with most artistic mediums. But this is not to say that Beatrice had plenty of time to while away with painting and experimenting. Her artistic skill grew in between the crevices of a busy life, full of other day-to-day responsibilities.
Born in Queens New York, early on Beatrice moved with her family to Florida. This is where her love for art began. “When I was going through school, while the teacher was talking, I used to be drawing. I always had to be sketching something out. So, I would sketch and sketch and draw things in the corner of my notes,” Beatrice said.
Beatrice did her first real painting in high school. Her technique was entirely self-taught.
A Practical Pursuit
The natural talent she had allowed her to become a professional artist. But selling artwork was not her career; it was a means to make money for college.
“I exhibited down in Florida,” Beatrice said. “Going through school I did painting, and it helped me pay for school.”
Over the years, Beatrice gradually worked her way up from earning a scholarship to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), to getting her bachelor’s and master’s as a Registered Nurse, and then finally obtaining her Ph.D. in Health and Administration
And this was all while balancing family responsibilities. Beatrice began her nursing journey after getting married and having children. “After I had two children I picked up the phone and asked my husband, ‘Can I go to school to be a nurse?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, if you want to.’”
Beatrice’s husband rearranged his schedule so she could start her classes. She then worked in the hospitals for a couple of years. But after losing her husband, she decided to go back to school and get her bachelor’s degree.
In 1989, Beatrice moved herself and her three children to Pinehurst, North Carolina. Still a nurse, she decided to continue her education once again.
“I went and got my master’s degree, and I got my Ph.D. in Health and Administration,” Beatrice said. “I was very fortunate because I was the administrator of a home health agency. We started with 125 patients, and when I left we had 2800.”
Over the years, Beatrice opened up four home health agencies, three in-home aid businesses, two medical supply stores and an adult day care program. Eventually, she was bought out by a hospital. She stayed with them for about a year to help with the transition, then she finally retired to Indian Trail, to be near her son in Stallings.
More Time To Paint
The demands of doing health administration had pushed art to the back burner. Like in elementary school, art had once again become something she fit in by doodling or sketching at her desk. This time during meetings instead of lectures. She explained that once she moved, “My son said, ‘Mom, why don’t you paint again?’ Because I hadn’t painted in years. I was so busy opening up all these agencies and getting all these licenses to do them. So, I said, Yeah, I think I will. And that was that. I started on my journey. I picked up that brush, and I started all over again. That was about 15 years ago. Ever since then I haven’t put a brush down.”
A couple of years later, Beatrice’s son announced that their family was having a baby. He planned on moving to a new home in Wesley Chapel and invited Beatrice to come live with them to help take care of the baby. Beatrice accepted the offer. And it was a good thing, she said, “Because when my grandson was born, he had medical problems. So I stayed home, and I didn’t do anything but take care of him for about four years.”
Then, ever busy, she started doing triage from home on night and weekend shifts, helping manage 145 physicians offices. But this time, she never stopped painting.
Becoming An Instructor
She said, “When I first moved here, and I was retired, people asked me, ‘Can you show me how?’” So about eight years ago Beatrice started teaching. “I taught one-on-one to begin with. Then I took on some small groups. And I teach now once a week at Hobby Lobby in Matthews, every Friday. Some of my students now are selling their paintings, which makes me happy because they had never picked up a brush before.”
The classes at Hobby Lobby consist of a series of six class paintings where Beatrice covers all the techniques. After that, the students bring in their own picture and apply what they’ve learned to their original piece.
Beatrice also does paint parties. Her largest party was a group of 50 teachers that she instructed in the school cafeteria. She also teaches as part of the Wesley Chapel WASEP program, which is a six-week after school program that is held twice a year. Beatrice’s class of third to fifth graders is always full. She calls it the “Disney Studio.” The children vote on what Disney paintings they want to complete, and the top three choices are what the students do. She integrates the teaching of techniques into the lessons.
Beatrice Hill Art Studios
What makes Beatrice’s art stand out is that she loves what she does, and it shows in her work. “And I do so many different types of art,” she said.
Beatrice works with acrylics, water colors, oils, pastels, and charcoals. “I don’t like to stay on one medium all the time.” She also does barbed wire art and paints on saw blades and rustic wood. Beatrice can look at something and envision what she could make out of it. “I’m always experimenting at something,” she said.
Beatrice’s art has been exhibited in the Markowicz Fine Art Gallery, The Art Institute of Miami, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami Florida. It is also currently on display for sale inside the Created in the Carolinas gift shop at 216 W North Main Street, Waxhaw, and Sospeso Coffee shop, located behind the gift shop.
Anyone interested in purchasing or consigning a painting, joining an art class, or scheduling a painting party can call 704-989-1167. Beatrice also offers homeschool art classes for up to six students, one morning a week, out of her studio at Created in the Carolinas.