Born in Durham, Lenore Hill started drawing at an early age, obsessively copying book covers, drawing the cats, and attempting anatomically incorrect drawings of horses. At the age of 8, she took drawing classes for kids at the Durham Arts Council. At age 11, she took adult botanical illustration classes at the NC Botanical Garden with Ruth Brunstetter, with whom she studied for 7 years. Lenore’s mother grew up in a florist’s shop and studied Horticulture, so plants and flowers were already an important aspect of Lenore’s life. Ruth taught Lenore how to use gouache (opaque watercolor) and render the realistic style with which she paints today. Lenore learned from Ruth the stippling technique (lots of dots) for shading in her pen and ink works. For three years, she took art classes at Orange High School with Elizabeth Dell-Jones.
Lenore started a jewelry business, using sterling silver and gold-filled wire with semi-precious stone beads. At age 18, she became the youngest working member of Womancraft, in Chapel Hill, an artists’ coöperative, where she sold her jewelry and botanical illustrations.
Upon matriculating at Duke University, she realized how much she wanted to be able to afford groceries and enjoyed programming, so she earned a bachelor’s in Computer Science. She was a software engineer and IT Analyst at IBM and Duke University, respectively, for 18 years and painted very little during that time. In September of 2018, Lenore resigned from her position at Duke and is now focusing primarily on her art.
Lenore lives in Hillsborough, NC with her husband, Jack.