Saturday, July 25, 2015

New Fine Art Gellery Website Launched: Sonia Hale Fine Art

I am very pleased to announce that I am launching a new website in the next day. It will include my fine art paintings and will be separate from my portrait work. In the days ahead I'll be linking the 2 sites and separating my portrait and my fine art works. New paintings will be added to the Fine Art site in the next weeks.

I hope you enjoy the new works and please be in touch if you have any comments!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Getting ready to paint my first Doctor in oil: International commision

I am honored to have been chosen for a portrait of a doctor which will hang in a hospital abroad. I will start this soon during the summer.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

High School Graduation Oil Portraits: Capturing your teenager in oil before they head to College

I have been enjoying working on the younger male sibling of these two lovely young women. Their mom and I are seasoned pros for this family's desired portrait look: we deftly work the angles and desired look of each portrait, as this is now our third time going through the process. The mom kindly said I'd hit the ball out of the park the first two times.

I consider this to be one of the best times to have an oil portrait painted. Eighteen years is a wonderful time in a young person's life and they are at a crossroads. Their faces mature in the next few years into a more adult look. If you want that more adult look that is also nice, but it is charming to capture the 18 year old before they venture from your home. And when you miss them you have this remembrance, which is comforting.

Commissioned Men's Oil Portrait unveiled: Special Occasion gift a great success!

It was a pleasure to work with this family on their gift for their father for his 90th birthday! What a wonderful idea for the person who has everything and what a lovely way to honor your loved one.

I worked from existing photographs and added the Harvard University tie. Seeing the close family bonds through other special occasions was a delight.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Unveiling today: New Men's Oil Portrait

It is always a pleasure to be a part of special occasion gifts and planning. Here is one of my latest portraits.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Upcoming Birthday Unveiling

I'm very pleased to be delivering a new painting this week for a 90 year old gentleman's birthday. It is always an honor to be asked to paint a commission and to mark the date of a 90 year old is very special. Photos to come after the piece is unveiled!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An Interview with. . .Sonia Hale

At what point in your life did you realize you were an Artist?

I was born an artist and knew from the age of five that that was a part of my identity. In early grade school I realized I was living in and viewing the world with a visual perceptiveness unlike most of my classmates and friends.

In addition, when I got a 100% on a spatial relations test in school, my parents knew I had an inherent 3D comprehension, which most likely comes from my maternal grandfather, who was a gifted tool and die maker in the Bridgeport, CT area. Family folklore is that he was asked to help with one of Howard Hughes’ planes in California and in New York with the development of the atomic bomb, called The Manhattan Project (the later of which he declined).

Sonia, what was it that led you to painting to be your creative medium?

I was enthralled by oil paints from the time I found a starter set abandoned up in my attic when I was in late grade school. I yearned to be able to paint far ahead of my years and my school art class's abilities to teach.

A family friend, who was an artist, advised that I take drawing classes prior to painting, so that my painting would have correct structure. That was incredible advice for that period of time in art in the 70's when realistic art was not in vogue. Creative expression was favored over learning the fundamentals of drawing and painting, as a later teacher would call it, "The Language of Art." I was enrolled in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts' art class program and was able to view master works and to draw and paint in the galleries. The art world was less cautious then, prior to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum thefts. I glimpsed the behind-the-scenes of the museum on my way to art class: I walked through long hallways with crated paintings and other art objects casually stored along the way. Art class was always the place where I felt most at home and with kindred spirits, though I did very well academically.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a Portrait Artist?

When I saw the John Singer Sargent painting, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The painting is very large and made an equally large impression on me. I saw how beautifully he captured each daughter in such a painterly way. His flowing brushstrokes spoke to me. I devoted myself to a decade of study and mentoring to learn, as a third-generation student of John Singer Sargent. I was pleased to have learned how to draw in my many classes at Harvard University's Carpenter Center, as well as an undergraduate at Colby College (I had been accepted to Tufts University’s engineering program, but ultimately chose to attend Colby.), and was ready to begin the process of painting the face—the most challenging subject there is!

What compels you to get out of bed in the morning?

I am driven to discover the visual truth in what I see. Painting is about showing how you see the world—I am moved every day by the beauty around me and there are many paintings I see, but do not paint, as there are not the hours in the day. My training, which comes from John Singer Sargent, is that one does not just paint portraits, or they will never become a fully developed artist, so I paint still lives and landscapes as well, and enjoy this very much as well. If I can share the beauty that I see with others who do not have the opportunity to study it as I do, and they are equally moved, then I have done my day's work.

What are you looking to capture in your portraits?

My goal in my portraits is to bring forth the best day of the person I am painting. I am capturing them at their best moment. When clients, portrait subjects and parents are moved, often to tears, I know I have done my job at its peak and that makes my efforts so worthwhile.

Do you have any special anecdotes you'd like to share?

Before I had really received much training, I was told my style was painterly (this is correct). I was very surprised when I was told I painted like Matisse in one of my first art classes at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts at the age of about twelve. Back then class was not so much about teaching, as letting students draw and paint during class with very little input. So I was described as painting like Matisse, which was meant as a compliment and is very nice, but there was so much I wanted to learn about portraying form. I still have that painting of a green bottle with a large white highlight on it. I would go on to learn to draw and paint in a more realistic manner, challenging myself to learn from the top artists in the country, taking workshops and classes nationwide.

I revel in the range of days and experiences I have, as well as the wonderful artists I have had the opportunity to meet and paint with. It is truly a privilege to be an artist. I have spent days meeting wonderful people of all ages to paint their portraits. I have painted on the banks of the Seine. Some more amusing times have been rummaging through closets of my portrait subjects, to help select clothing which will translate well to a painted portrait. I feel very fortunate to share the journey of others' lives, in paint.

What recommendations do you have for those who will be painted? How can a client be ready for their portrait session and achieve the most out of your abilities?

The things that clients can do are to choose 3-5 outfits and to be themselves. They will have input in the process, so they can relax and we will find our way together. Their best self will be depicted in the painting. They can trust I was bring forth the best in them.