Hilarie started to draw at the age of two. She drew faces that resembled Keenes' sad eye kids from the sixties, ballet dancers and horses. Her love of art continued through high school, and she entered college at Washington University in St. Louis, as a fashion design and medical illustration major. She attended college for only two years discouraged that the core classes for her major had nothing to do with art. She left school and hitchhiked out to San Francisco to draw portraits in charcoal and pastel on the streets. With virtually no formal art training, she was able to survive by selling her portraits and travelled around the country doing that a few years.
One day she met a hairdresser that traded a haircut for a pastel portrait drawing and convinced her to go to beauty school to get a "real" job. After a few years in the cosmetology field, she started taking photography classes and loved developing film in the darkroom and styling the photo shoots. She pursued both the hair and photography, but abandoned her drawing skills completely for over thirty years.
As life took over she continued working in different fields to make ends meet. She became an auctioneer, appraiser, and realtor owning a combination salon, auction gallery and antique mall where she performed all of those jobs together under the same roof. In 2010, at age 55, Hilarie went back to college and got a degree in historic building preservation which opened some doors to her renewed artistic path. One of the classes required her to paint a mural that won an award. Upon viewing the project, her instructor remarked that she had missed her calling and that she should have been doing art all along.
That experience was an eye-opener and finally Hilarie is oil painting and attempting to make up for lost time. She is now a full time artist and seeks creativity daily. She has attended workshops from some notable artists whom she admires such as Dan Gerhartz, Carolyn Anderson, Ned Mueller, Zhoaming Wu, Casey Baugh, Max Ginsburg, Slava Korolenkov, Eric Bowman, Eric Jacobsen, Mitch Baird, Aimee Erickson, Craig Skrebnik ,Kat Sowa, Za Vue , Thomas Kitts and Camille Przewodek.
Hilarie is greatly influenced by the Impressionist movement of the mid 1800's to the early 1900s and most notably, the Russian Impressionists, in keeping with her own heritage. It is a movement and style that resonates with her own journey as a fine artist.
Hilarie Couture’s art is gaining interest with new collectors all over the country.
She has been showing work in various galleries and businesses in the Portland / Vancouver area, and she also teaches workshops and does portrait and other commissions in her studio/gallery in Vancouver, Washington.