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 Chet Hill  (1920 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: California      Known for: illustration, landscape, seascape, animal and western painting

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Paul Chester Hill is primarily known as Chet Hill

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Chet Hill
An example of work by Paul Chester Hill
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
This Biography was submitted by Ed. L Caustin, a personal friend of the artist.

Paul Chester Hill (He likes to go by his middle name Chet") was born in Pasadena, California on February 23, 1920. At an early age, he and his family moved to San Francisco, then to Pobias Station in Oregon. In 1928 they moved back to California to the Los Angeles area. Chet attended the 24th Street Elementary school, then Mount Vernon Junior High and graduated from Polytechnic High school in 1936. He worked at various jobs until threatened by the Draft.

He joined the Army to serve his required year of service (January, 1941). During that year, Pearl Harbor changed his life, and he spent four years at war. He was in the 87th division. After the battle of Metz, his division joined with Patton's 3rd Army battling throughout Germany until wars end. In 1945, he was sent home for a few days waiting to be sent to Japan, but while he was on furlough, the Atomic bomb ended the war, and he was honorably discharged.

Now, with his G.I. Bill he had enough funds to go to The Art Center school, where he studied commercial art and illustrations. He spent 38 years in that field, most of which was as a freelance artist and illustrator.

His love of art started at a young age. He was constantly sketching things and people around him. In high school he was quite popular, as he would sketch his school mates in various activities. This talent was used during the war. When there was a rest period, he would sketch his fellow soldiers and surroundings. The big problem was to obtain paper and pencils, however there was always plenty of charcoal around. He became popular with his fellow soldiers when he got the idea to sketch them on their V-mail forms. Hundreds of these V-mailed sketches came across the ocean.

In late 1960, a friend encouraged him to seriously study oil painting. She was studying under Don Miles in San Gabriel, California. Chet checked it out and was impressed with what he saw. He asked Don if he could join the class and was accepted, and he spent 12 years painting with Don who encouraged Chet to join the San Gabriel Fine Art Association. Here he worked with other artists in Plein Air painting in Palm Desert, La Quinta Canyon, and Eaton Canyons.

Don Miles studied under Sam-Hyde Harris who would show up at Don's studio during Chet's lessons and would demo, and Chet learned some of his technique from Mr. Sam as well. Chet tells that he would drive Mr. Sam home on occasion, and there he learned that Mr. Sam and Norman Rockwell had shared the same house in Alhambra, California

Chet retired from Crown Zellerbach in 1980. In 1981, he moved to the central coast, settling in Arroyo Grande, California. For years he continued his association with the San Gabriel Fine Art Association (SGFAA), participating in their various shows, winning numerous awards. Some of which are listed here:

1972: San Gabriel Mission, 28 x 30 Oil Grande Prize SGFAA Open Show
1975 Home is The Sailor, 14 x 18 Third Place Member Show
1976 Deep Water, 18 x 24 Third Place
1977 Reminiscence, 18 x 24 Oil First Place
1983 Moonlight Cowboy, 22 x 30 " First Place
Enhancement, 14 x 18 " Painting of the Month
Stagecoach Road, 18 x 24 " Third Place
1986 San Luis Station, 18 x 24 " Second Place
Early Retirement, 28 x 36 " First Place
Nastursiums, 24 x 30 " Second Place
1987 The Way of a Transgressor, 18 x 24 Oil Second Place SGFAA Member Show
1990 Landscape, 18 x 24 " Honorable Mention
The Fish Trap, 18 x 24 " Honorable Mention
1991 Fiesta Color, 18 x 24 " Third Place

In 1983 Chet joined the El Camino Art Association (ECAA) in the Five Cities area. Although he is now troubled with Parkinson's disease, he remains actively painting and participating in the ECAA's exhibits and exhibits of his own. Chet is a realist and paints a wide variety of subject matter, landscapes, seascapes, marine, animal and western scenes. As a result, Chet is sought after by the locals to paint pictures of their landscapes and surroundings. Chet's studio is in Arroyo Grande, California.

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