Montecito Magazine Spring 2019 67 She paints both en plein air and in her studio, working from photos and her pencil sketches. “It’s like a form of meditation for me,” she says. “I always say that I’m a better person when I paint. It makes me happy!” It also gives her joy to tell the stories of places that time or circumstances will later change. Her paint- ings exude vitality and exuberance while document- ing a moment in time and giving a nod to the scene’s transience. “I want to paint things that may not be there forever,” she says. “By capturing places on my canvas they remain timeless.” As an example, Hilda mentions Two Trees, a local landmark of twin eucalyptus trees that have stood sentinel on a Ventura County hillside overlooking the city for decades (see painting on page 66, far left). “I was painting Two Trees, and I knew that it meant a lot to people in the area. I learned that one of the trees was dying and was glad that I was able to depict it the way it was.” (A replacement tree has since been planted.) She also remembers, “I painted a beautiful old barn at the California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster and when I went back a couple years later it was gone. I want to preserve the things that are dear to us.” Arbor Services 805.967.7779 CL #814674 Mastering theArt & Science of Tree Care • KAREN CHRISTMAN Certified Arborist/QAL LOU CHRISTMAN Certified Arborist, Certified Tree Risk Assessor Casual Breakfast and Lunch • Indoor & Patio Corner East Valley & San Ysidro roads Mon–Sat 7 am–2:30 pm • Sun 8–2 • 969-6250 MONTECITO COFFEE SHOP One of those precious spots is Montecito’s Miramar Beach. With the recent opening of the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel, this beloved sandy swath enters a new phase. Locals once again share the beach with hotel guests and visitors, as they did before the “old Miramar” was shuttered almost 20 years ago. “I think it’s going to bring joy again to that area, and it’s also good for the econ- omy,” says Hilda. “It’s another option for a place to stay that’s unique, since it’s right on the beach. I was painting there recently and it was so beauti- ful—it was high tide and the light was perfect.” Hilda comes by her artistic talent naturally, with a mother who was a concert pianist, a suc- cessful painter and a jewelry maker. “She was very creative,” says Hilda. “My father was a lawyer and more left-brained. I think I inherited his organi-