The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Artwork completed for Augusta Plein Air 2008

JEEK's Estate
April 28--10am
"JEEK's Barn"
Watercolor   12x16
Inspiration and Design: View subject
The location for this plein air event was the JEEK's Missouri Fox Trotter farm in Augusta, MO.  The day was consistent with the predominant weather pattern of Spring 2008 in Saint Louis: rainy, windy, and cold.  The passing rain clouds were exceptionally beautiful from the high vantage point of the farm.  For this painting, I wanted to convey a spring day on a horse farm.  In the composition, I included a rain cloud in the distance.  Precipitation was falling from the large cloud in the distance, creating a blue-gray wall of rain beneath the cloud.  To convey specifically an Augusta horse farm, I was sure to include a white rail fence that appears and disappears across the rolling hills.  And lastly, I exaggerated the pink color of the flowering trees to complement the dominant green color.  This composition enabled a near perfect color design.  The predominant colors were complementary (green/pink), and white was present throughout to function as an overall binder for the complementaries. 
Balducci Vineyards
April 30--6pm
"Sunset Over Balducci Barn"
Oil   11x14
Inspiration and Design:
I was participating in the "Paint the Sunset" event at Balducci Winery.  The sunset on the evening of the event was not nearly as stunning as the one that I saw two days earlier at the winery.  As a result, I decided to paint from memory that sunset instead.  I arrived an hour late to the event and only had two hours to complete my painting.  Consequently, I decided to limit the depth progression in the landscape.  My primary goal for this painting was to capture the warm red light that permeated the landscape.  The painting was successful and won the first place award in the competition and was purchased by the vineyard's owner. 
Centennial Farms
May 1--10am
"Spring Pruning (Jay Deatherage)"
Oil   11x14
Inspiration and Design:
Three days earlier, I saw this image from the hill above the peach orchards of Centennial Farms.  The sight, a single human presence tending a peach orchard in bloom, was very engaging.  I returned to paint it as quickly as I could and hopefully before the blooms dropped.  As I was painting, the young man that tends the orchard dropped by, Jay Deatherage.  I inquired into what he was doing three days earlier and learned that he was pruning the trees to help them carry that year's crop.  My primary goal for this painting was to convey the allure of working in a peaceful peach orchard in spring.  In this painting, I emphasized the sparkle of peach blossoms and the interaction of man and nature. 
Centennial Farms
May 1--2pm
"Bee Hives Under Pines"
Oil   8x10
Inspiration and Design: View subject
I was participating in an afternoon quick paint competition at Centennial Farms in Augusta, MO.  I arrived in the morning and saw the early light striking a row of bee hives near the entrance to the farm.  The pines provide shelter to the hives from the heat of the sun.  Bees are essential for pollinating the farm's orchards.  My primary goal for this painting was to convey the suprise and drama inherent with bee hives.  From a distance, the hives appear placid and lifeless, just small white boxes stacked two-high in a neat row.  Upon closer inspection, they are abuzz with activity.  Step too close and risk frantic adventure.  To exaggerate drama, I stayed true to the high value contrasts present between the light and shade shapes.  However, I strayed from the actual color temperatures of the shapes, utilizing warm colors in place of cool to best evoke "life".  Likewise, I did not include the sky shape showing through the trees, again, to ensure a dominance of warm colors over cool.