Oil painter Whitney Hall was born and raised in San Diego, where she studied under contemporary impressionists, expressionists and colorists. About a decade ago she relocated to Montana and began to shift her subject matter from humans to animals.
Today, Whitney’s colorful compositions are rooted in the figurative approach she honed in Southern California, and are recognized for their balance, both in harmony and contrast, and in technique and instinct.
Always on a quest to evolve, Whitney gets her inspiration by observing animals and nature, picking up on natural patterns and color combinations, watching documentaries and reading articles about science.
“Abstract and figurative artwork really inspire a lot of the ways I approach my animals,” Whitney says. “I love design movements –– art deco and nouveau, orientalism, minimalism –– and a lot of the shapes or color palettes inspire my work.”
Looking at things in new and different ways is how Whitney has kept her art fresh.
“For a few years I was exploring color and pattern, like how much could I put into the art and still have the subject recognizable,” she says. “Now I’m exploring the opposite side, such as how much color and texture can I take out and still say everything I want to say. I’m really interested in balance and extremes.”
When Whitney rejoins the Celebration of Fine Art this January, visitors will still see the style of work they’ve come to love over the years, replete with horses, birds and wildlife. This year, she’s bringing something new to her studio –– pieces with florals, new metallics, new color palettes, and simple yet bold compositions.
“I was just beginning to work with cold wax last year,” she says. “It’s really evolved my work, and the majority of my oil paintings will be incorporating that as well.”
Artist Quick Takes:
Favorite artist? It changes constantly, but Gustave Klimt is pretty high up there.
Music/Musician that inspires you? If I’m not listening to an audiobook or podcast, I typically like blends of classical and electronic instrumental music. I’m also exploring a lot of tribal and folk music from around the world. Right now I’m in a Scandinavian phase.
Favorite place to travel? The desert! I love the wide, open spaces and the subtle color palette.
Favorite Quote? “The secret of being a bore… is to tell everything.” – Voltaire
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you’d be doing? I would be a writer. I love storytelling!
What’s one thing you’d like people to take away from your art? That the world around us is full of color, design, personality and life that has nothing to do with us but can still impact us.