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Orla Hilton name is Orla Hilton. I started painting as soon as I could hold a brush. My aunt Mary inspired me to begin oil painting when I was 7 and I have never stopped. ⁠
I studied art under Walter Verling, Evan Morrissey and Mike Byrnes in MICEd for three years coming first in my graduating art project. I then went on to finish an MA in 2000. I taught children with special needs up until 3 years ago. I was lucky enough to show paintings at the People’s Exhibition on Stephens Green in Dublin and also to show my work in the Shenandoah Museum in Virginia, US. ⁠

Unfortunately, I developed a number of serious health issues that made it very difficult for me to work and I have had to stop working. Very often I am in severe pain and fatigued. I am medically immunosuppressed indefinitely and have been unable to venture out for the past 3.5yrs. However, my love of painting has kept me going. Through illness, depression and times when I was anxious, art has been my saviour.⁠

The painting I have selected for the showcase is one inspired by the Lord of The Rings films. It was painted in oils over 3 weeks and was painted for my sister who is a massive LOTR fan. ⁠

If I were to meet myself as a younger person, I would say “keep painting..don’t give up..ever”⁠

I have found it very difficult showing my paintings as I cannot go to gatherings. So Instagram has been great and I recently set up my instagallery. ⁠

In my mind, choosing to be an artist doesn’t happen. Art chooses you. It’s like breathing.”⁠ This image was taken in 2018