This Duane Bryers painting on illustration board is one of the "Hilda" series of
paintings created by Bryers for use as a calendar illustration. Here, Hilda sits,
exhausted from her unfinished work of carving a pumpkin, however, her creation has
one eye open. In this series, Hilda never seems to get things just right, though
she is always carefree and happy. Hilda was first brought to life in 1958, and was
popular throughout the 1960's.
Duane Bryers was born in 1911 in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. One of his early
paintings was a 103 foot long mural, showing the history of the mining industry in a
Midwest town. He took the $3000 that he earned from that project and moved to New
York City, but did not soon achieve success. However, he did win a poster contest
at the Museum of Modern Art. While in the U.S. Air Force between 1943 and 1946, he
started a comic strip called "Cokey" for the newspaper on the base. That comic
strip was eventually syndicated. In his early fifties, he began specializing in
Western theme paintings.
Duane Bryers was the first commercial illustrator to use a plus size model as the
subject of his pin up art. He had many models pose for "Hilda" paintings over the
years, but more often than not, "Hilda" was a creation of the artist's imagination.
Most "Hilda" calendars used 7 paintings to create each calendar. One image was used
on a page for every 2 months, plus a cover illustration.
Mr. Bryers currently resides in the Tuscon Arizona area.