Ed Hicks has been a familiar name in the art community for several decades now. Established and experienced, the Glastonbury painter enjoys the success every young artist yearns to attain. Indeed, many rising local artists cite Ed as an inspiration. With art in galleries and shows up and down the coast, his influence extends far beyond Glastonbury, and even Connecticut, to many spots across the country. Over the course of this summer alone, Ed’s acclaimed paintings will appear in seven shows throughout Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maine. His pieces are also regularly exhibited at galleries in Wilton and Old Lyme, Connecticut; South Hadley, Massachusetts; and several different locations in Maine.
Despite his mass of followers, Ed remains down to earth and fairly casual about his painting career. This is not to say he lacks passion; he simply “paints what [he] like[s] to look at.” He even admits that commission paintings can be difficult for him – not for lack of talent – but because clients often want to pull him in a direction that is less true to his art. Ed would rather put his heart into a painting whose subject he has chosen, enabling him to be fully satisfied with the result.
Ed’s oil landscapes and seascapes express a sentiment of tranquility, balance, and wholeness, while blooming with color. Whether complimentary or contrasting, each piece has a color scheme working to bring to life the particular scene. In “Atlantic Power,” the shades exude just that, power. The stunning turquoise is sharp against the rich coffee color of the cliffs, as the waves break onto the rocky shore. On the other end of the spectrum, the beautifully blended pinks and purples of “End of a Summer Day” set the perfect mood for a drowsy August afternoon. Despite the soft brush strokes used in much of his work, Ed’s pieces feel realistic. One can almost taste the fresh salty breeze that nudges the sailboats along in one of his seascapes. While taking in “Poppy Power,” it would not be hard to imagine a buzzing bee flying among the cheerful flowers on a sunny spring morning. Ed’s paintings make the most simple and everyday sightings seem extraordinary. An autumn barn on a New England farm is suddenly breathtaking; a Maine coastline becomes otherworldly. He truly has a knack for highlighting the beauty of a scene without exaggerating details or oversimplifying.
What many of his fans may not know is that a young Ed had no interest in the oil landscapes he is now so well known for. Though he intended to be an artist in his teen years, his field of choice was commercial art. After graduating from the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Ed worked in corporate and industrial advertising as the art director of agencies in Hartford and West Hartford. However, just under a decade into his graphic art career, he began to feel a tug in a different direction. He cites an art show in Niantic as sparking his interest in the fine arts. Since then, his career as an oil painter has taken off and soared. However, he believes that his training in basic art helped his commercial and fine art careers alike. He adamantly maintains that once one learns the artistic fundamentals of color, lines, and design, one can branch in any direction.
Though Ed most often paints landscapes and seascapes, he has diverged from this theme a few times over the years; he has released a few collections of portraits, including a series of Civil War generals as well as one of famous artists. However, his inspiration comes mostly from the outdoors, both the countryside and
A dedicated artist and art enthusiast, Ed joined Glastonbury Arts, “many moons ago” and was an active member of the board of directors for several years. He also held the position of president multiple times. Ed Hicks is a regular at the annual On The Green Fine Arts Show, and many visitors will no doubt seek out his booth again this year.
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