Rose Hilton was born in 1931 at Leigh, near Tonbridge in kent ,the middle of seven children . Her parents were devout Plymouth Brethren one of the most extreme of the Protestant Sects,and they recognised Rose’s artistic talents from an early age. Rose persuaded her parents to allow her to study at the Beckenham School of Art from where in 1953, she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. Here she won the Life Drawing and Painting prize as well as the Abbey Miner Scholarship to Rome in 1958, where she spent a year.
Upon her return to London she began teaching art and in the late 1950’s met her future husband the leading abstract artist Roger Hilton. The couple married in 1965 setting up home together in the far West of Cornwall at Botallack Moor, where they lived until Roger’s early death in 1975. Much of Rose’s time during this period was taken up with family concerns and her painting took second place as a result. However following Roger Hilton’s death Rose took up her brushes again and in 1977 had her first solo show at Newlyn Art Gallery .Rose Hilton has steadily built a reputation as a major St Ives artist and in 2008 Tate St Ives held a retrospective of her paintings.
Rose Hilton is renowned for working with sensuous colour to create paintings which are inspired by the landscape and people of Cornwall. Influenced by the paintings of many artists, in particular Matisse and Bonnard, she has developed an ability to use colour,line and light to evoke distinctive atmosphere. Her works are widely collected throughout the UK and Europe.