ARTIST OF THE MONTH
Richard B. Hall is an artist with a sense of humor. Case in point: The oil can. While returning from a long road trip to Texas one day, the Mesa artist pulled over to the side of the road to relieve himself. Standing there, he spotted an old oil can beside a tree. That unassuming piece of refuse instantly captured his imagination and later became a prop for a painting.
Much of Hall’s work incorporates found objects and often makes fans linger and laugh. His award-winning “Breakfast Special: Ham’r and Eggs” depicts a hammer hanging over an egg on an old wooden table. “Crying Over Spilled Milk” features an old fashioned bottle of milk surrounded by tear-inducing onions. This is not an artist who is out of creative juice by the time he titles a canvas.
Hall, 59, was born, raised and educated in England and had two artistic grandfathers who inspired his creative career. He came to Arizona after meeting his wife, Sharon, who was attending the University of Arizona and studying in England. After “churning out art for years” for the Phoenix Art Group, Hall suffered a heart attack, which prompted him to pursue his dream of painting his own particular and sometimes peculiar subject matter. He has since exhibited everywhere from New York City to Tokyo.
Hall creates whimsical still-life paintings as well as landscapes using time-tested, traditional techniques reminiscent of the old Dutch painters. Food is a common motif in his art, with eggs, artichokes and even turnips turning up on fine linen canvases along with antiques and other odd objects. “They have a very nostalgic feel,” he says of his art. “My still life work is like visual theater.”
Visit Hall at the Celebration of Fine Art from Jan. 14-March 25 in North Scottsdale (celebrateart.com) or at the Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale.