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Meet Hilda Kilpatrick-Freyre

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hilda Kilpatrick-Freyre.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Hilda. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I was born close to the equator near the beach in Peru. We later moved to a sugar cane plantation and then to Trujillo —a restored colonial city brimming with exquisite art and architecture— I was surrounded by art, and I dreamed of becoming an artist at a young age.

I worked in banking and studied Italian at the University of Genova in Italy. I moved to Ventura in 1998
Eventually, a yearlong sojourn to Europe launched my ideas into action as I was inspired by the Continent’s great museums. Here, quaint flower markets, doorways, and windows became my subjects as I set up my easel in plazas and on street corners in Venice and Nice. But it was my first year living in the US. That really got me going. With nothing to do but wait for a work permit, I began painting daily.

Fascinated by the beauty found in nature, my oil paintings are primarily landscapes, seascapes, local scenes and places that “speak to my soul.”

I paint both en plein-air and in my studio, working from photos and my pencil sketches. “It’s a form of meditation for me.” I always say that I am a better person when I paint. It makes me very happy! “My paintings reflect what touches my senses, what makes me laugh inside, and makes my heart jump with excitement and anticipation.” It gives me much joy to tell the stories of places that time or circumstance will later change. My paintings exude vitality and exuberance. “I want to paint things that may not be there forever.” By capturing places on my canvas, they remain timeless. As an example, some years ago I painted a beautiful old barn at the California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster and when I went back a couple of years later it was gone. I want to preserve the things that are dear to us. Another example is Two Trees, a local landmark of twin eucalyptus trees that have stood sentinel on a Ventura hillside overlooking the city for decades, until recently one of them didn’t survive, and it was suddenly gone.

While in the field, I make a “sketch painting” and often take photographs for future reference. I work “alla prima,” meaning “without layering”—wet on wet, from top to bottom. I never work long on a single painting in order to preserve my spontaneity. I set a painting’s tone and value by first blurring the white canvas using an “imprimatura” technique—a transparent wash in “terracotta,” my favorite color. Next, I sketch on the canvas, and “the fun begins.”

I have taken a few art classes over the years, picking up valuable skills and techniques from each teacher. I studied with pastel artist Teresa Suarez-Vertiz and later took lessons from painter and sculpture Maria Cummings in Ventura and the late illustrator Glen Orbik at the California Art Institute (now closed) in Thousand Oaks. With Marcia Cummings, I honed my abilities in depicting perspective, and with Glen Orbik, I learned to incorporate the human figure into my paintings.”

I work full time as an executive assistant and sketch after work and paint on the weekends.

I had my first art show at a coffee shop in Ventura. Since then, I have shown my work at the Museum of Ventura County, Santa Paula Art Museum, Buenaventura Gallery, Palm Loft Gallery, among others. I have been featured in national publications such as SkyWest Magazine, Southwest Art, Montecito Magazine, Santa Barbara News-Press, and Los Angeles Times.

I value the connections that my art, which is private collections around the world, has brought to my life. I love when people look at one of my paintings and smile… that is everything! Then, I get to talk to the person or collector and share a story with them, and that’s even better. I feel grateful, through my paintings, that I can share these special places that speak to my soul and that I can bring sunshine and happiness to others through my work.

Artist Statement:

Hilda Kilpatrick-Freyre is a visual storyteller. Her body of work is a pictorial narrative that reflects the artist’s interpretation of a sentiment.

The inspiration in Kilpatrick’s subject matter derives from the notion that her scenery may be drastically different in a few years, or gone altogether. Environmental changes, overpopulation, urban growth: these are but a few factors that attract this artist to capture the current landscape. Her characteristic loose brushwork, warmth-infused surfaces, and fresh painterly approach are evident throughout her body of work.

Her work has been displayed at the Museum of Ventura County, Santa Paula Art Museum, and Buenaventura Gallery among others, and has been featured in national publications such as Montecito Magazine, Santa Barbara News-Press, SkyWest Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine and the Los Angeles Times.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has taken a lot of perseverance. I still remember looking at a sample of the Montecito Magazine and telling myself: I want to be part of this publication one day. My dream came through this past Spring! My painting is on the cover of the Spring/Summer edition.

I love what I do, and I keep doing it!

Please tell us about your work.
I am known by my landscape and seascape paintings in oil.

Art Shows:
Ongoing: Glendeven Inn, Little River, Mendocino, CA
Through the end of July: Panaro Brothers Winery, Ventura, CA
August: Marcela’s Village Gallery, Menlo Park, CA
September: Caskale House, Ventura, CA

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think life took me exactly where I am now, and I am very grateful for that. I learned so much while “living” that I feel I wouldn’t change anything. I think life should be lived as an adventure!


  • Paintings range by size. From $250 to $5,000
  • Prints available by request

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal photo: Photo by
Painting: Summer Solstice, 16×16″, oil on canvas.

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition, please let us know here.

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