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Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 85  |  October 23, 2020

LCAD art professor to exhibit her work

Figurative painter Hilary McCarthy of Laguna Beach is currently adjunct faculty in the Fine Arts Department at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD). Several of her works will be on display Saturday, Feb 1 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the B Minus Studios in Santa Ana. Her show is entitled The Light of the Sea, New Paintings by Hilary McCarthy.

McCarthy says making art is an escape from the “uncomfortableness” of life. Behind the easel she feels safe and protected, and not subject to life’s many ups and downs. 

LCAD art ocean

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LCAD professor Hilary McCarthy’s art will be on display on Saturday at B Minus Studios in Santa Ana

“As a subject in my art, the ocean is timeless and seemingly endless. It existed before we did. We do not own it. If anything, it owns us,” she says.

“The ocean helps me see life in terms of unlimited possibilities. Because it lets me reach a place of freedom, its unpredictability is also a metaphor for life. Sometimes it is turbulent and other times tranquil,” McCarthy notes.

“The women I paint in the foreground deal with the messy complexities of the human condition. In the background, the ocean forms a vast backdrop. The narrative of each painting tests these two interfaces,” the LCAD art professor says.

LCAD art water

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Submitted photo

McCarthy draws inspiration from the ocean in her art

“Sometimes the women want to leave the physical world. Other times, they simply are floating in water, riding the waves. The women I paint live in the present, are weightless and at peace with themselves and the world,” McCarthy concludes.

A New Yorker for 18 years, McCarthy moved to Laguna last year. Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries in the United States and Europe. She has studied at Harford Art School, The Art Student’s League, New York Academy of Art, and Columbia University. She also has attended art residencies in Puglia, Italy; Victoria, Australia; Leipzig, Germany; and, Johnston, Vermont.

For more information about Hilary McCarthy, visit her website at


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