Whitney Hall’s oil paintings combine the inspiration of the wild Northern Rockies and the intense color of the Southwest. Born and raised in San Diego, Whitney studied under a wide variety of contemporary California impressionists, expressionists, and colorists, focusing her studies mainly on figurative drawing and painting. After moving to Montana in 2008 she was introduced to Russian Impressionism and the Northern Rockies’ deep legacy of animal painting, which changed the course of her work from human to beast. Despite her four-legged subject matter, her approach is still figurative at its root, with a focus on the design and character of each animal she paints. Today her colorful animal compositions reflect this mixed art heritage with their constant push and pull between technique and intuition, form and expression, harmony and contrast.
In 2010 Whitney was the youngest artist to be juried into the C.M. Russell Art Auction. In 2011, she was published in Southwest Art Magazine as one of “21 Under 31: Young Artists to Collect Now” and received the Award of Excellence in the Oil Painters of America’s 2011 Western Regional Exhibition. In 2019 she received the prestigious 2-Dimensional Award at the Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale and in the same auction her painting was the second-highest selling piece of the night, coming in at over three times retail. Her work has since been juried into many national shows and auctions, including the Russell Auction, the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, the Coors Western Art Show Club, and multiple museum shows. She is a Signature Member of the American Women Arists.
Statement & Process:
Coming from a figurative background, I see in all animals the same form and movement that first fascinated me in humans. Whether they are birds, wildlife or horses, animals come in a never-ending variety of colors, shapes, and expressions, and I don’t believe I could ever grow tired of painting them. Through my paintings I want to give a new perspective of the creatures that walk with us everyday and fill our world with life and sound and texture.
I also bring to my work a fascination with color theory. I carefully design the palette for each piece to balance the harmony and contrast of the colors. The result is a painting full of rich intense color but also bringing a subtlety that a more aggressive approach to color would not fully showcase.