BILLY HIX
STATEMENT

What do you think about when you do your work? What inspires you?

I just try to make paintings that . . . I don’t want, see, I don’t want to make a painting that someone says “Yeh, I saw that before.” I don’t want that to happen so if you see my painting you’re not going to see that painting anywhere else and if you buy my painting you’re not going to see someone else have that same painting because I do one of that painting. And since I have a bad memory I can’t copy the painting because I forget exactly how I did that painting the first time.

So, each one is very unique. Do they come from memories or things that you see?

I just … mainly I start with an eye. I draw an eye. Just, I draw basically the area where an eye would be and then a round head … When a painting begins it’s not going to ever look like it does when I finish it and I don’t know what … It’s not always good, it’s great if it looks … I don’t know … I can’t say… well I’m not going to sell it unless I think it looks good, unless I would be comfortable to have it in my house, in my room. Because there’s a lot of, not to be bragging, but there are a lot of paintings that I’ve painted I would put in my house, but they need to be here [Billy’s brother’s studio at the Brewery Art Complex in Los Angeles] for you guys to see.

Where do you get your materials, like your canvases?

The canvases I get at Wal-Mart, they have the lowest prices. And I … at one time I bought a lot of paint.

Have you been drawing since you were a child?

My father, he got my brother and I both drawing. Hey, I don’t like to draw real people. I draw a head and an eye out here and they say “Why’s the eye out here?” That’s the way I wanted it. Or see, I make an outline of the body but the arm is a little bit higher and then someone says “Why’s that higher?” What I’m saying is my paintings can never be wrong. If an arm or a leg is down here, or you have three legs and one arm, then that’s the way I wanted them. My dad is a tree surgeon. But he had to retire. He fell down. Not that he fell down, he’s getting older. Yeh, you can’t climb trees when you’re old.

What are you thinking about when you’re doing your abstract painting?

Just making…I just want it to look good. So, I get, I learn different ideas for myself, test different ideas, and they work out.

How long ago did you start painting?

I started painting in 1999. You know in high school when you have paint class? I hated that class. I didn’t like painting at all. Now I can’t get enough.

What do you think changed it?

I don’t know.

Was there something that happened in 1999 that gave you the motivation to start painting.

Mark, my brother. See, Mark has always been painting and I, I’ve always been drawing so he said “Hey, why don’t you put your drawings into paintings?” Then that’s when I started putting my drawings into paintings.

How many paintings have you sold now?

I’ve sold 29.

And I heard you say you’ve sold them to people from different countries?

Yeh, I’ve sold them to people from Germany, the Philipines, Mexico and all around, like in Florida and New York, or “New Yawk”, and in Kansas, and Illinois, because I’m from Illinois so a lot of my friends bought my work.

You had a motorcycle accident. When was that?

It was 1984. August 21st. I was in a coma five weeks. I wake up, my body was paralyzed. I couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk. Even at suppertime when we’d sit, went to the table, they’d put me in a chair and I’d fall down because my balance was so poor so they’d have to strap me in.

You’ve come a long way since then.

Yeh, and then, then when I used to work out in high school, and then I wanted to get back into it so they had to, this hand could not grab so they had to tie the bar to my hands. Now I lift more than I did in high school. I had to go back to the hospital every Wednesday for therapy.

How many hours a day do you draw or paint?

Oh, this is my schedule for today. I wake up. I walk to, or I go out to my paint room. I paint the background first. And then, while that’s drying, I work out. And then, when I get done working out, I take a shower and then after I shower I come back and if it’s still wet I eat. And then, of course it’s dry then. Then, really before, after I, the type of painting I do the paint dries real quick. It’s the oil that takes so long, months to dry.

So after you’ve worked out you go back and start working on the foreground.

Yeh, and then I work on the foreground until, say 5 hours, until suppertime and then I eat. Then if I want to do more painting I do it.

So after supper you paint.

Yes and watch television. Like I used to watch “Friends”. So I used to wake up, paint, work out, shower and go until 7 o’clock “Friends.” Then I eat supper, then I watch “Friends” and after “Friends” I just paint from say 7:30, ‘cause it’s on only half an hour, until sometimes 5 in the morning. It depends on how many canvases I have.

Can you paint when you’re sad?

I’m not. I’ve got no reason to be sad.

You’re usually happy?

Yeh, because life’s been good to me. The only time I’m kind of sad is when I don’t have a canvas. When I don’t have anything to paint with, then I’m sad.