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    Sam Hall

    About the Artist Born in Manchester, England in 1936, I had never painted seriously until 2002, when I began to dabble with acrylics. Loved them! Two years later, in 2004, I emerged onto the British art scene with a series of representational and semi-abstract acrylic works based on places that I had visited during a lifetime of travel and passion for art.

    It was the beginning of a meteoric artistic career. Within a month of my first exhibition at the North Norfolk Art Centre in April, 2004, I was selected as a finalist in the prestigious British nationwide EAC Art Awards. My original acrylic paintings were later hung at The Business Design Centre in London.

    In June 2004, I exhibited at Summers Art Loft in my hometown in Dorking, Surrey and two year later, in 2006, I was once again selected as a finalist in the British EAC Art Awards and my art was hung in the Mall Galleries in London.

    Shortly afterwards, in September 2006, I held a very near sell-out solo exhibition at Gallery 47, opposite the British Museum in Bloomsbury , London. This was so successful that I was also asked to hang my original paintings in a new VIP Lounge at London Heathrow Airport . My next solo exhibition, in September 2007 was another major success, this time at the prestigious Leatherhead Theatre in Surrey, UK, at which I exhibited 60+ original acrylic paintings.

    In 2008, my work was once again a finalist in the national EAC Art Awards and exhibited at the renowned Bankside Gallery on London's South Bank. I also exhibited at The Blue Door Gallery near London Bridge in London and, in 2009, at the influential Contemporary Fine Arts gallery, The Lloyd Gill Gallery, in Weston-super-Mare, UK.

    Since those early days I have been through many phases – painting is truly a journey and sometimes painful. A gallery owner told me he couldn’t hang my pictures because I painted in different styles. I didn’t even know I had a style at that time and was devastated, not to mention depressed! So I embarked disastrously on painting abstract works, none of them particularly inspiring. It wasn’t until I decided to paint “Gaza" that my progress began to pick up again. This was a painting I felt needed to be painted. It was political (my framer refused to put it in his window saying: “I don’t want a brick through it!”. My feeling was that the events of World War II and the holocaust rightly should be remembered, but that being so and all things being equal, so should the Israel invasion and occupation of the Gaza Strip also be remembered – not matter what the rights, wrongs and provocations were. The painting was eventually selected by the arts media company, New Art Originals.com to be displayed electronically on a 20ft x 10ft billboard in London.

    My dilemma after “Gaza” was where to go next. This painting had suddenly increased my inate preference for Realism and it developed slowly into hyperrealism (as opposed to Photorealism). But I didn’t want to become a ‘war’ painter. Instead, I realised that Nature provides an artist with everything that is required, no matter what the genre. I was inspired by painters like Brian La Saga, a Canadian artist who specializes in Nature but I also admire such photorealistic artists as J.F.Clauzel, Michael Sass, Conrad Mieschke and William Hagerman, Joe Hush, the New Zealand artist Graham Sydney and Anna Kostenko and the young Serbian painter Veljko Djurjevic , whose paintings of mountains and forests are sublime.

    Now, my work begins when something catches my eye and I reach for my camera. I usually take as many as 40-50 photographs from different angles, perspectives including closeups of details. I then concentrate on the composition, perspective, balance and colour, using the photographs as a guide.

    I first sketch on the support the basic placement of the main elements of the picture. I tend not to paint the orthodox way and lay down an under-painting. Instead I work from top left to bottom right of the painting, first laying down the basic colours of small sections, then gradually painting in the details. At this stage, I am happy to change any element of the reference photograph, perhaps re-shaping or moving rocks to enhance the composition or adding reeds and undergrowth. Additionally, it is by either vivifying or changing the colours and using my own unique methods for detailing that I am able to make the painting ‘my own’;

    People say that my distinctive style of painting, intense palette and ability to evoke depth, space and spirituality bring a vibrant, magical touch to my original paintings, thus vividly expressing the deeper, eternal essence of Nature and giving them 'soul'.

    I am fortunate in that I am not dependent on painting for a living (I’d be a pauper if I was!) so I paint what I want, when I want. And there's no doubt that, having been a war correspondent for British television news and covered several conflicts from the Nigerian-Biafran war, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the Siege of Beirut in 1982 and the Falklands War etc.,I am now painting mostly subjects taken from Nature, which is an infinitely more pleasurable way of life.
    paypal_email samhallart@gmail.com
    Cash award to monthly Best in Show winner. All monthly finalists win a free promoted painting entry, are chosen and critiqued by a different professional artist judge each month, and compete for Grand Prizes awarded in August. Artists may offer to sell their paintings or print reproductions and keep 100% if sold.
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