The leafy wonders of Hillary Waters

Hillary Waters Fayle is an American artist from Western New York State. She grew up playing outside in the woods around her house and always loved to draw and make things with her hands. Torn between a desire to pursue both environmental science and art, she eventually chose art and studied textile design at Buffalo State College. After a term focused on embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, she returned to the woods of her home where she had a job working for the Department of Environmental Conservation.


While gazing up at an Oak tree during a work break, the idea to combine her artistic skills with natural materials came to her, and she began to embroider directly onto leaves. The combination of material and technique became a platform for her to express her wish to live more in balance with the land.



"I believe there is a strong relationship between the land and our interior landscapes. When we are connected to the land, we’re connected to ourselves, and one another.


I bring together materials and processes that express the union of humanity and the physical world. Whether stitching, drawing, planting seeds, or harvesting, my hands echo the gestures made by thousands of hands over thousands of years. I feel connected to the lineage of people working with textiles, plants and the land. Stitching, like agriculture, can be functional-- a technical solution to join materials/a means of survival-- or, both can be done purely in service of the soul, lifting the spirit through beauty and wonder.


Botanical imagery dominates the arts; we find the patterns, colors and shapes of flora inherently alluring. Through plants, we see reflections of our lives: the excitement of new growth, the blooming and fullness of maturity, the withering of beauty and eventuality of death. Plants teach us of patience, hope, perseverance and the importance of strong roots.


Now more than ever, it feels important to inspire a shifted perspective; to explore and appreciate what is often overlooked and to realize the potential for a more balanced existence."

-Hillary Waters







Follow Hillary Waters' work on Instagram.