Literary works by Eliza Hemingway

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 to catch 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 the first reader at the 2007 Book Festival at the Victoria Centre for the Arts along with Rachael Wyatt. (Mz 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, fibre art won Honorable Mention, Fibre Art at the Sooke Art Show, 2011 (sold)
  • IRIS' AND POPPIES, fibre art won Best in Show, Fibre 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, Eisentein, Pasadena, California 
  • Trinity Communications, Vancouver BC
  • Moonlight Farms, Vancouver BC
  • John Brockington (retired) Head of the theatre department, UBC, Vancouver 
  • Peter  Pollen (retired) ex-Mayor of Victoria
  • The Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
  • The Women's Gallery, Scotland 
  • Winchester Galleries, Victoria, BC


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



Artist's Statement:

My paintings:

I achieved my staunch ability to work hard and my unyielding application to purpose through a girl's private school in Yorkshire, England. The school's unwritten motto was if a girl can survive a private school she can survive anything the world throws at her. I have proven this to be true; I survived the school. 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. During this time, these two cities were home to many creators who were ready to show a whole array of new ways to paint and write.

Painting should move past the safe realism most people are familiar with. I want people to see beyond their own already adopted and settled concepts that a painted tree should look like a real tree. 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 to own one of my paintings I want that painting to be an original.

My art has my brush strokes, my colours, my spirit and is from the heart. Each one is worked with truth. Each one is me. 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 surprise you with the results. Young children create 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 philosophical words have been spoken and all the creations are completed the only remaining things of any importance are the brush strokes and the colours.

My Writing:

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 caught by unusual circumstances. Many of them have humour. Others have pathos. We all like to cry once in a while. I write mostly in the present time and mostly about the unsophisticated people of Vancouver Island. 

I dislike historical fiction. A present day writer could not possibly know the facts of ancient Egypt. The writers were not there. According to researchers, Cleopatra was in her seventies when she met 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 and you will hear seven different accounts. Source books are constantly translated. Facts become legends. Hollywood directors have a saying: When facts become legends, print the legends. 

Evidence exists that a known thief with a similar name to Robin Hood lived in Yorkshire, England a few miles away from where I was born, but only for a very short time. Scarborough, a seaside town in Yorkshire has a bay called Robin Hood Bay. He probably did not keep company with a young woman under the greenwood trees. The English weather would have got him if the sheriff hadn't. He most likely never robbed the rich to give to the poor; he seems to have not been that good a person. Robin Hood most likely never saw Sherwood Forest. He would not have had the money or a way to get there, except by Shank's Pony (his own legs). If he had walked the highways or the low-ways a sheriff would have picked him up before he reached the Yorkshire boundaries. 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 the facts do.

Artists and writers have a responsibility to record the events of their own time. Anachronistic writing is not a good way to work.

Writers should write about what they know, and where they are. If they do not do this, if they rely on older facts and irresponsible records they run the risk of being the published reader at a book presentation of their own book and during the question period hearing an older person say your facts are erroneous; this is not how things were during the Second World War. I know this to be true because I am a great deal older than you are. I was there.


Eliza Hemingway Hawkins

PO Box 544, Chemainus, BC



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