Sarah Hillock paints cows because of the joy it brings her to represent these unique creatures of power and submission. She spent her early childhood on a rural farm in Ontario. Enchanted by the cows on her farm she later found herself compelled to examine the relationship between humans and these complex yet overlooked animals. Why does an animal with so much girth and power behave as a fearful child? What makes an animal with such intense curiosity become so apprehensive when in close proximity to the object of its curiosity? These along with other questions about cows in our society underlie the characters she chooses to portray in her paintings.
Her influences are based in the classical style of realism with an impressionistic aesthetic and an abstract ground. Sarah uses bold colours and strong strokes to carve out structure and form, forcing the viewer to use their imagination to complete the picture. With this style Sarah likes to challenge her audience; asking the viewer to feel, as opposed to see, the painting.
Sarah majored in drawing and painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design and she excelled at figure drawing winning the Libby Stienbeck Altwerger Award for Excellence in Figurative Studies. After study, Sarah completed a 3 month residency at the Pouch Cove Foundation in Newfoundland. Her work has been included in exhibitions all over Canada and as part of the permanent collection at the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery.
Sarah is an avid traveller, choosing to find her subjects on remote farms and fields all over the world. Her most recent tour took her by bike from Rome through Italy and France 4500km north and finished in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Sarah is an avid blogger and documented all her adventures in her blog Cowride2009. She currently resides in Toronto and is working towards a new body of figurative paintings.