The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Artwork completed for Silver City Paint-Out 2010

Edelweiss Mountain Rd (Silver City, SD) (View location of my easel)
July 8--9am
"View of Silver City, Morning (South Dakota)"
Oil     9x12
It was opening morning of an artist paint-out in Silver City, a historic mining town in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  I was painting with my father-in-law, Bob Martin, and we decided to paint the view of town from just outside his cabin. 
View Bob's art
As always, the mountain environs were altogether invigorating.  The weather was cool and breezy, and clouds were numerous and moving swiftly across the sky.  Unfortunately, the accompanying shadows falling on the landscape were also moving rapidly, and capturing the landscape on this day was akin to photographing a hunting dog.  To succeed, I had to mentally lock onto a single light and atmosphere event.  My target lighting came around once every 5 minutes or so.  My goal was to create the impression of morning in Silver City.  For my composition, I made the focus the old school building, now the Community Center.  The building naturally beckons attention as it is the lone manmade structure across a wide mountain view, and since red is the complement across the color-wheel from green, it optically stood out in the green mountain landscape.  My design also displays prominently the road leading into town from the east.  The road is a 4.5 mile, gravel approach with nearly 40 turns.  As its course runs through my chosen view bottom to top, depicting its decreasing size creates well a sense of depth in the painting.  With my handling of the building, I was not content until it sparkled in the sunshine like it does in real life. 
July 9--4pm
"Ore Cart, Jenny Mine"
Oil     8x10
Inspiration and Design: View subject
My subject is an old ore cart from the abandoned Jenny Gulch mine (Yuetta Claim) in the Silver City District.  It is only remaining machinery from the mining era.  The afternoon was clear and sunny, creating a wonderful light and shadow event around the cart.  Unfortunately, its surroundings are not nearly authentic as it is anchored on a mowed lawn for public display.  To increase my understanding of the subject, I inspected the old mine entrance where the cart was likely used. My goal was to evoke the feeling of an old iron cart at work in the claim at Jenny Gulch amidst the colorful granite.  In the absence of an authentic setting, I created one with the purpose of creating this effect.  To convey the impression of granite surroundings, I utilized multiple shades of blue, green, silver, and gold.  I also added prominently a pickaxe in the composition to give a sense of hard labor.  And at the far right, I suggested the mine entrance. 
Silver City Rd (Silver City, SD) (View location of my easel)
July 10--8pm
"Sunset on Rapid Creek at Silver City"
Oil     11x14
Inspiration and Design: View subject
This view from Silver City Road provided a great vantage for a sunset painting.  Near, middle, and distant planes were visible, and in a deep, narrow canyon, this is not common.  In the low light at sunset, objects are subdued which can limit the amount of definition that can be relayed to the painting.  The visibility of the three planes, however, gave me more with which to work.  My goal was to create the impression of Rapid Creek in Silver City at sunset.  In my design, I orchestrated the elements thoughtfully, always keeping an eye towards the overall impression being created.  As an example, while the color that I chose for the sky unequivocally denotes sunset, I constrained its shape to the top 15% of the canvas.  This size and positioning of the sky conveys the sensation of sunset from within a deep, narrow canyon.  The definition does not stop at the boundary of its shape, however.  I utilize a large meandering creek shape and its reflections to further communicate the nature of the sky.  Likewise, the contour of the creek facilitates my intended impression.  Rapid Creek twists and turns as it flows through the canyon, and my composition depicts a meandering course.