Brian Hibbard ended up in North Carolina, after trying to literally walk away from his
art. He and his wife planned to hike across America. They started in California after
training on the east coast, but after a few days striding over unfamiliar, rocky terrain,
their feet blistered and split. They gave up, bought a Westphalia van, lost it to a
thief in Colorado, and ended up living in a camper perched atop a mountain.
Compared to that, Hibbard's life, years later, seems downright stable. He's standing outside
his solar-paneled studio dressed in a utilitarian ensemble of polar fleece, navy twill and
hiking boots. If the paint streaks on his clothes were dirt instead, he might easily be
mistaken for a hand on the Santa Fe ranch where he refined his work ethic.
Instead of replacing the art he had studied during his college years, Hibbard's sojourn in the
Southwest returned him to it with a renewed sense of focus. Since coming back to his
Southern roots and staking his claim on a beautiful farm in North Carolina, the man in the
primer-striped shorts has become one of the most in-demand, talented and hard-working
artists in the region.
This North Carolina artist takes a modern approach to classical painting, depicting rural
landscapes, regal horses and rustic barns. Hibbard has a methodical, workmanlike
approach to his vocation, which he pursues through even the occasional bout of artist's
block. Hibbard prides himself on meeting deadlines and returning phone calls in a timely
manner. Even in this recession ,"It's amazing how busy I've stayed". Hibbard says. "Since
I do this full-time, I'm able to jump on opportunities when they come up. If somebody
calls, I try within a day or week to jump on it. I really take pride in that".
And the calls have been coming. Hibbard is currently represented by 14 galleries across
the country. Even though he's stayed busy, it is not all toil. Hibbard makes time for flashes
of inspiration by taking a drive in his old military painted Chevy. These jaunts in the
country often become the muse for his latest series of landscape paintings or metal
sculptures. Outside his studio overlooking lush green fields, two sculptures, a horse made
from motorcycle parts and other found metal objects and the gigantic head of a woman,
languish in the afternoon sun. Inside, the walls are donned with paintings that are a true
feast for the eyes.
Although he experiments with nontraditional media and abstraction, the artist’s touchtone
is classical technique. Birds, Horses and organic figurative works make up his oeuvre of
classical, yet modern pieces as well as ethereal tributes to the great outdoors. Hibbard
works on panel, not canvas, for most of his paintings. For some of the figurative pieces,
Hibbard employs experimental media like tar, mineral spirits and resin. He emphasizes
the sculptural element even more in some of his abstract work, like one painting caked
with broken bottles and resin. Writer Orson Scott Card said it best when describing
Brian’s work as having “an interesting palette of muted colors that include a strange,
metallic brown that suggest copper. His trees and clouds are rimmed with slight
shadowing that is... at once representational and yet theatrical. I fell in love with all of his
work." We believe you will too.