Hodges Soileau, OPA has enjoyed a successful career as an award-winning illustrator and painter. His art is featured on the covers of more than 300 books, and he’s worked for most of the major publishing houses in New York along with Field & Stream, Scholastic Publishing (most of the covers for the popular Babysitters Club Series that ran from 1986 to 2000), and Harlequin Publishing (many covers for their Romance Series).
He’s also a 23-year member of the prestigious Society of Illustrators in New York and enjoyed the honor of chairing their 35th Annual Exhibition. He also served as an adjunct professor for many years at the Ringling College of Art and Design.
Hodges grew up in Louisiana and earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Southwestern Louisiana. He resides in Venice with his wife, Marilyn. His fine art is displayed in many private collections including the permanent collections with the U. S. Air Force, the U. S. Coast Guard and the magazine Golf Digest.
Hodges notes how his diverse experiences with creating illustrations for 30 years refined his skills as an artist. “Taking on diverse assignments required me to address many technical challenges,” he noted. “The continuous study of various techniques led to breakthroughs of understanding which enhanced my confidence painting with oil.”
Hodges enjoys the freedom of painting compared to doing illustrations. “I paint what interests me without the restrictions and guidelines that were important in my work as a professional illustrator,” he explained. “I think of myself as a contemporary realist aligned with the naturalist and bravura painting styles.”
“It’s important for an artist to go beyond technical knowledge when creating art. There’s a feeling an artist gets when they are standing in front of a subject. It might be the lighting conditions, a sense of place, or some other kind of awareness about the moment. These less obvious dimensions have the potential to provide an emotional connection between the artist, the piece of art and the individuals appreciating the art. Developing greater discernment is part of the journey of an artist becoming a better observer and communicator.”
See more art at HodgesSoileau.com or visit Collectors Gallery & Framery on Venice Island.