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Kathi Hilton 1939 -

Kathi Hilton and John W Hilton sharing a photo at their first joint exhibition
Kathi and John W. Hilton
sharing their first joint exhibition

Kathi Hilton's magnificent desert paintings convey the majesty and enchanted nature of California's deserts.

She is the daughter of famed desert artist,
John W. Hilton. Her father's close friends became Kathi's artistic uncles, including artists Maynard Dixon, Jimmy Swinnerton and Marjorie Reed (who frequently volunteered to serve as Kathi's baby sitter).

Growing up as John Hilton's daughter gave Kathi a front row seat to the life of her extraordinary father. During the hot summers in Thermal, CA, Kathi would accompany her parents to the much cooler mountain town of Alamos in Northern Mexico where her John Hilton explored the plants, animals, and the culture of Sonora. John W. Hilton wrote about Kathi in his book, Sonora Sketchbook.
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Kathi Hilton Desert Magazine 1978
Kathi featured in Desert Magazine
Nov, 1978
Kathi Hilton & the California Desert
This exhibition is now showing at the Palm Desert Historical Society

Kathi Hilton at Palm Desert Reception
Click photo to read and listen to Kathi's Q & A at the Palm Desert Historical Society, April 13, 2013

Kathi Hilton  at Twentynine Palms OpeningKathi posing for photos at the opening of her show at the Twentynine Palms
Art Gallery in September, 2012
Kathi's paintings reside with in three locations: the Historical Society of Palm Desert, and with Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery.
You may purchase paintings through Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery, and the painting you purchase will be shipped from its present location.

Currently, these two Kathi Hilton paintings reside with Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery
Kathi Hilton San Jacinto Midsized Thumbnail
San Jacinto (nocturne) 24 x 30
Kathi Hilton Golden Promas Midsized Thumbnail
Golden Promise
, 15 x 30

Kathi is well known for her paintings, but she has also worked with bronze.
These sculptures are also available through the Palm Desert Historical Society
http://www.hspd.org, 760-346-6588

From her personal collection, Kathi is offering some paintings by her father and her father's friends.

James Cagney Sketch of John W Hilton
James Cagney
Sketch of John W. Hilton
done in his studio

Edmond Francis Woods
Edmond Francis Woods
Morning Boats
Oil on masonite, 8 x 10

Leo Cotton California Trees and Hills
Robert Leo Cotton
ornia Trees and Hills
Oil on Board, 8 x 10

Harry Victor Law The Dignity of the Earth Midsized Thumbnail
Harry Victor Law
The Dignity of the Earth, 1939
Watercolor, 4 x 6
Harry Victor Law Ye Ancient Willow Midsized thumbnail
Harry Victor Law
Ye Ancient Willow, 1932
Watercolor, 6 5/8 x 9

Also available
Prints of works by

Kathi Hilton 1939
see our printbin
Kathi Hilton Print Eternal Spring Thunbnail
Eternal Spring
"Artist's Proof"
Kathi Hilton Silent Sentinel Print Thumbnail
Silent Sentinel
copy 44 of 890

As an artist, she had several successful exhibitions, and has been featured Desert Magazine and Southwest Art Magazine, and was invited to participate in the Frank Tenney Johnson Memorial Show at the Gene Autry Hotel in Palm Springs.

Kathi uses a palette knife, and a technique crafted by her father of mixing fossil wax with oil paints to achieve a texture perspective, giving the finished painting realistic impressions of depth. Her paintings show an exceptional luminosity and often receive adoring comments from gallery visitors.

Behind the desk at the visitors center in Death Valley National Park hang a pair of large paintings by John and Kathi Hilton.

Hilton Kathie Kathie Death Valley .jpg Hilton Kathie John W Death Valley .jpg
These are two large oil paintings by Kathi Hilton (left) and John W. Hilton (right), Death Valley National Park Visitor's Center

Kathi has given us two fantastic tales of her childhood days growing up in the home of John W. Hilton.

One of John Hilton's friends was aviator and industrialist, Howard Hughes. On several occasions, Hughes landed his airplane on the highway in front of John's humble gem shop and art studio in Coachella, CA. Once, he brought dinner with him, fresh Maine lobster for little Kathi's birthday. Today, lobster remain's Kathi's favorite dish. Another of John's friends and painting partners was actor James Cagney. Cagney liked to get out of Hollywood and, visit John at his Twentynine Palms ranch and paint. It was Cagney who gave Kathi the best advice she ever received. She told the acting legend that people liked her paintings, but were always comparing them to those of her father. Cagney responded, "Don't you worry about that Katy, you just paint what's in your heart."

Sources: Conversations with Kathi Hilton, Sonora Sketchbook by John Hilton, 1947; Death Valley Visitor's Center, Furnace Creek, CA., Desert Magazine November 1979Back to top of page

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