“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 every day and fill our world with life and sound and texture.” This is the artistic statement of Whitney Hall, a renowned oil painter who will be participating as a quick-finish artist in the 5th Annual Warrior Taste Fest. This year will be Whitney’s third year participating as a quick-finish artist at Warrior Taste Fest.
The ribbons of intense color and balance between harmony and contrast within Whitney’s paintings bring life to the animals she paints. There’s no doubt about it: Whitney has a remarkable talent of capturing the lively, unique energy of Western animals through fascinating color palettes and brush strokes. From galloping horses, to stern owls, to curious bears, Whitney paints animals in a truly special way.
Prior to Warrior Taste Fest on September 8, we’re putting our artists under the spotlight and sharing their stories. Not only can we learn about their artistic process, but we also get to see what Warriors & Quiet Waters means to them, and how this event shapes their lives. Take a closer look at Whitney’s artistic career and journey to participating in Warrior Taste Fest!
WQW: How did you hear about Warriors & Quiet Waters and Warrior Taste Fest?
Whitney: Through my mother, Terry Hall, who attended the first two years of the Taste Fest and was a live artist for the third year.
WQW: Terry’s artwork will be available in our silent auction this year. We’ve enjoyed having you both participate! What motivates you to create?
Whitney: I like to joke that an artist is just a “paid observer.” I have always been curious and loved watching things, examining things closely, and discovering new things. I love that I get to do this for a living, and I love showing people what I saw or helping them see something ordinary like a bird or a flower in an entirely new way.
WQW: On your website, you describe a pivotal moment in your career as follows: “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.” Can you tell us more about that transition? What made you realize you wanted to pursue paintings surrounding animals?
Whitney: I’ve always had a very deep connection with animals, but when I was in art school in California the primary focus of all academic art was the figure. I really enjoyed studying figurative gesture and movement and drawing muscles, but there was no real tradition of animal art outside of maybe illustrations or murals at the zoo, so it didn’t occur to me that I was missing animals. When I saw work by people like Carl Rungius, though, I was so impressed at both the color and anatomy but also the way animals were painted as though they had inner lives and emotions of their own. It really brought together what I already loved about figurative art and my love of animals.
WQW: What creature do you find most intriguing to paint?
Whitney: I think my favorite animal to paint is horses. Horses have been this centuries-long collaborative art project between breeding and nature — the horse we have now is not at all the original animal! We’ve changed it in a lot of ways for function, but also in a lot of ways purely for beauty, and I love that thought. Horses are also such perfect figurative studies, with such beautiful proportions. It’s possible to convey so many different emotions through them.
WQW: What else would you like the audience to know about why you chose to support Warrior Taste Fest?
Whitney: I love the mission of Warriors & Quiet Waters, and the event itself is so much fun to both attend and paint at! It’s so great to get a taste of what our community has to offer, and also know that my work is supporting getting veterans out into some of the most beautiful and untouched nature that we have access to. Belief in the restorative power of nature is such a huge element of my own creative inspiration.