The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Artwork (Christmas tree ornaments) completed for the Homestake Opera House Festival of Trees Auction 2009

November 10--11pm
"Big One! Mean One!"
Oil   3x4 Since many participating in the charity auction will be Black Hills residents, my goal for this painting was to depict a pet phrase of the Black Hills region, "Big one! Mean one!".  The phrase is a homegrown expression that originated at an animal park in the region, Reptile Gardens.  At the alligator show, a keeper ask the audience what sort of alligator should he pull (tail-first) from the water, small or big, nice or mean.  The audience response, "Big one! Mean one!", has become popularized, and residents now use it to describe a wide variety of subjects.  I understand that local school children have been known to describe their teachers as such. 

Bison bulls are big, and they are chronically mean during mating season, so they are my subject for this painting.  In my composition, two are fighting.  However, one bison must dominate to accomplish my goal.  Consequently, one is slightly bigger, shown complete, and highly rendered, while the other is sparingly depicted, only enough to provide the context of a fight.  Likewise, the larger bull is more colorfully depicted, while dust from the event obscures the color of the smaller one.  My composition gives full billing to the big one and mean one. 
November 11--8pm
"South Dakota State Bird"
Oil   3x4 For this Christmas tree ornament, I wanted to capture the color and form of South Dakota's state bird, the Chinese Ringneck Pheasant.  The pheasant's head is my center of interest.  Being red and green, the color scheme is both complementery as well as Christmas-leaning.  The background is muted and assists in showcasing the colorful, patterned bird.