About Eliza


 Literary works

 Published books:




         KISSED ON A BOAT, Edited by Eliza. A collection of short stories by the Cowichan Valley writers, 2009

         SLING-BACKS, a coffee book (Canada: Arts Angels Publishing, 2006)

         LIPSTICK, a coffee book (Canada: Arts Angels Publishing, 2006)

         NUDE ON A FENCE, a collection of short stories. (Canada: Arts Angels Publishing, 2006. Winning Finalist, Best Books in America Award, 2007)

         HOW THE LION SWALLOWED THE MOON a collection of short stories (Canada: Arts Angels Publishing, 2003)

         THE BUTCHER'S DOG, an historical novella based in fact (Canada: Arts Angels Publishing, 2002)

         OVERBOARD, a book of poetry (Canada: Maggie Dove 1998)


         NEXT TIME YOU'RE DEAD. The get in and get out method of writing. This is very small book about how to write better short contemporary fiction in order to attract the attention of publishers.

         HOW TO MURDER A NAKED WOMAN, an autobiography about writing (Canada: Arts Angels Publishing, 2004)

         MAIZY'S SCARF, an autobiography (Canada: Sono Nis Press 1979)

         NURSES, autobiographical cartoon book (England: Smith’s Publishers)

         Short stories:

         NEXT TIME YOU'RE DEAD, Pub. Ten Old Books 2009

         JUNGLE TEA (England: Pub. Tonto Press, 2006)

         HOW MY GRAN GOT HER MOUNTIE (2nd place winner in Canadian Writer’s Journal Competition, 2005)

         COUGAR MOON (First place winner in Carillon Magazine’s short story competition, 2004)

         WOO KISS (Pub. Green’s Magazine, 2004)

         HOUSE CALLS (Pub. Author’s Publishing) 


         DRAGON OR SNAKE, an essay on St. George (England: Pub. Carillon Magazine, 2004)

 Other connected facts:

         Eliza currently has a studio in Chemainus on Vancouver Island.

         She wrote a literary by-line under the heading “MY WORD” for the Chemainus Valley Courier.

         Eliza was a reader at the 2007 Book Festival at the Victoria Centre for the Arts along with Rachael Wyatt. (Ms. Wyatt has extensive awards, which include The Order of Canada.)

         Eliza was the invited writer at the Rotherham Arts Festival, England 2004.



         1995 Port Albernie Art Centre: Oil Paintings and paper Sculptures

         1995 Vanity Fair Art Gallery: Oil paintings and paper sculptures 

         1993 Bon Ton Gallery, Oak Bay: Oil paintings and paper sculptures

         1992 Vanity Fair Art Gallery, Victoria:  Oil paintings

         1991 Moss Cottage Gallery, Victoria: Oil paintings and mixed media sculptures

         1989 Rollin Gallery, Maple Ridge

Group shows:

         2001 Fat Cat Gallery, Victoria 

         1993 Cordova Bay Art Gallery: Oil paintings

         1990 Backroom Gallery, Oak Bay: Oil paintings and paper sculptures

         Winchester Galleries, Victoria

         1986 BC Festival of the Arts, Prince George 

         Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria;

Other exhibitions:

Victoria City Hall; Victoria's Macpherson Theatre; Oak Bay Municipal Hall; Madrona Art Centre, Nanaimo; Gavin House Gallery; Belle Vue Art Museum. Washington DC, USA

Eliza's work has also been displayed and sold through

Yonge at Art, Toronto; Virginia Brier Gallery, San Francisco, USA: Perceptions Gallery, Boston, Mass, USA; Vancouver Art Gallery: Penticton Art Auction, BC; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria; The Port Hardy Museum and Burnaby Art Gallery, BC. Eliza's paintings have also been displayed in Beijing, China and The People's Hall, Russia.


         The HABERDASHER'S GARDEN, fiber art won Honorable Mention, Fiber Art at the Sooke Art Show, 2011 (sold)

         IRIS' AND POPPIES, fiber art won Best in Show, Fiber Art at the Sooke Fine Art Show 2010 (sold)

         NUDE ON A FENCE, short stories won the Winning Finalist Award for Best Books in America

         1993 Sooke Fine Arts Bruce and Sydney Ranney purchase award, oil paintings

         1987 Poland International Competition: Diploma of Honour, mixed media sculpture

         1985 Honorary Citizen of Victoria for her work as an artist

         Most Interesting Person in Victoria, voted by Monday Magazine 

         Winner, the British government sponsored Road Safety Poster Competition for all England, at age fifteen.

Arts related activities:

         1994 Fringe Festival, Victoria: One woman show

         1988 Board member, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria 

         1981 Patience and the White Knight, a medieval anachronism written, costumed and produced by Eliza at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

         1982 Patience and the White Knight produced at the University of British Columbia

         1982 Patience and the White Knight produced at Open Space Gallery, Victoria, BC

         1979 Wrote and illustrated Maizy's Scarf, published by Sono Nis Press for International year of the child

 Eliza's art is in the following known collections:

         Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Past Prime Minister of Canada)

         Bruce and Sydney Ranney, Seattle, Washington, USA

         Appraisal Consortium, New York, USA

         Betty and Sam, Eisenstein, Pasadena, California 

         Trinity Communications, Vancouver BC

         Moonlight Farms, Vancouver BC

         John Brockington (retired), Head of the theatre department, UBC, Vancouver 

         The Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA

         The Women's Gallery, Scotland 

         Winchester Galleries, Victoria, BC

Other: Eliza has given several writing presentations at conferences and book shows

She has read stories on CBC Radio, acted in films and in live theatre and designed stage sets and costumes 

She has mounted several very large public events for artists and writers 

Eliza also worked with Henry Moore for a short time through a British Government sponsored program. She also interviewed Pablo Picasso, and George Bernard Shaw 

She worked, along with several other interested persons to create the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

She was one of several other interested persons who rescued Rodman Hall and developed it as a contemporary art gallery


Artist's Statement: My art has my brush strokes, my colors  and my spirit and is from the heart. Each one is worked with truth. Each painting is spontaneous. I approach a canvas the same way a child with crayons might attack a blank sheet of paper. Ask a child to draw a tiger and they will delight you with the results. Ask them what the tiger is doing and they will, instantly and from the heart tell you the most wonderful story. Young children create in the only honest way. That is, until an adult decides these innocents should be taught how to paint properly. In the process of helping, the grown-ups totally kill all originality. But then, after all the philosophical words have been spoken and all the paintings are completed the only remaining aspects of any importance are the brush strokes and the colors.

I achieved my staunch ability to work hard and my unyielding application to purpose on the hockey fields of a girl's private school in Yorkshire, England. The school's battle cry was the same hurrah of the American marines; it's unwritten motto was if a girl could survive a private school she could survive anything the world threw at her. I am proving this to be true; I survived the school and I am in the process of surviving the world. I worked with artists, writers and debaters in London and Paris because painting to me is a philosophy. These two cities were home to many creators who were ready to work in a whole array of new ways to paint and write. They pushed their thoughts to places I had, at that time, yet to comprehend.

Painting should move past the safe realism most people are familiar with. I want viewers to see beyond their own already adopted and settled concepts that a painted tree should look like a real tree. If you want a 'real' tree then take a photograph. My paintings are not wall decorations. I am not of the twigs and flowers school of art. The work is not 'realistic' paint by number copying from photographs. You have to ask the question how did the painter manage to have the tiger stand still long enough to paint its image. I never reproduce my work as poster prints. If a person wants one of my paintings I want that painting to be an original one-of-a-kind.


'Winking eyes'. (Sold)


I write mostly literary fiction and mostly books of short stories. Some of the stories include experiences gained from world travel. My short stories show ordinary people in unusual circumstances. Many of the stories have humor. Others have pathos. We all enjoy a cry once in a while. I write mostly in the present time and mostly, at this moment in my life about the unsophisticated people of Vancouver Island. I distrust historical fiction. A present day writer could not possibly know the facts of ancient Egypt; these writers were not there. According to researchers, Cleopatra was in her seventies when she met a young Mark Anthony, and she had arthritis of the spine, which would have made love making impossible. 

Police know they cannot trust the information given by an eyewitness. Ask seven people who were present at an accident what they saw and they will present you with seven different accounts. Source books are constantly translated back and forth from one language to another. Facts become legends. Hollywood directors have a saying: When facts become legends, print the legends. That kind of philosophy leaves everyone living in fairyland.

In Yorkshire, England a few miles from where I was born, evidence exists of a rather unimportant thief, one the authorities called Robin Hood (Robbing Hood because he robbed people and wore a woolen hood over his face to cover his identity). He lived for only a short time. Scarborough, a seaside town in Yorkshire has a bay called Robin Hood Bay. Robin probably did not keep company with a young woman under the greenwood trees. (Have you noticed how much make-up Maid Marion wears in the old movie about Robin Hood? Make-up? Really? And they lived in a forest! And Maid Marion is always beautiful.) The makers of that movie have obviously never been to Yorkshire. The English weather would have finished Robin if the sheriff had not nabbed him first. He most likely never robbed the rich to give to the poor; accounts written about him show he was much too mean and nasty to do that. Records state he was a rather unpleasant man, all around. He most likely never saw Sherwood Forest. He would have had no way to get there, except by Shank's Pony (his own legs). He would never have had enough money to buy a horse. If he had walked the highways or the low-ways a sheriff would have picked him up before he reached the Yorkshire boundaries. A person would have been visible for miles on the Yorkshire moors, and there is no place to run and hide except under the belly of a sheep. Records show a similar man died as a relatively unknown small-time and rather unpleasant crook. The legend makes him sound much more romantic than do the facts. A writer of the time probably took the name from the city records and made up a romantic tale.

Artists and writers have a responsibility to record the events of their own time. They should not look back. Good writers write with the future in mind. Anachronistic writing is a lazy way to work; most of the facts are already in place. But even with all the details, and no matter how much research is done or how hard a writer tries they cannot know the philosophy and mores of older times. Their work will show how they, the creators think with a contemporary mind. I have seen many historical movies where the actors use words that were not invented when their characters were alive. Some words and sentences are even from the advent of computers and technology.

Writers should write about what they know, and where they live. If they rely on older facts and irresponsible records they run the risk of being called plagiarists or worse, literary thieves. They should not mess with the lives of people from the past; they do not belong there. If they do involve themselves they might hear--during the reading of an excerpt from their own newly published book--an older person call out from the audience: Your facts are erroneous. This was not how things were during the Second World War (or a similar major event). I know this to be true because I am a great deal older than you are. I was there. I ran for my life as the bombs dropped. I did not have the time, the food or the physical dexterity to do the things you describe people doing in your book. I was a child just trying to survive. I had to stay alive so I could help people such as you have your chance at a decent future. So you could spend your life doing your yoga and making yourself beautiful in your spandex tights, and writing over-sensationalized books.

Eliza Hemingway Hawkins








Wall hanging signed Eliza Hawkins, d.1996, 42" x 58", "Woman Escaping Without a Stitch.

Eliza's latest book:

ISBN 978-0-9813584-2-0 LITERARY FICTION 

Amative Effects of Bronze Boars

This fictional story is about Vancouver Island, Canada. It includes a description of the city of Victoria, Chemainus and the Cowichan Valley. The word amative is another word for loving.

The front cover includes a painting by Eliza. 

When Demitria Jordon unearths a pair of antique Chinese

bronze boars in a garden behind an antique store she is

about to open in Chinatown in Victoria on Vancouver

Island, Chez, a fountain designer from Wales suddenly

appears. Demitria believes the boars have amative



Eliza Hemingway

The author: This is Eliza’s first full-length novel.

$25.00The book may be ordered from 

Arts Angels Publishing

Eliza Hemingway

P O Box 544, 
Chemainus BC, V0R 1K0



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