Late Hall’s vision on display

By Samantha Tucker samantha@prairiepress.net
Posted 7/12/21

The Link Art Gallery is showing paintings of late local artist Wayne Hall, a self- taught still life master.

“He said when he painted, he went to a whole other world, so that tells you how …

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Late Hall’s vision on display

Posted

The Link Art Gallery is showing paintings of late local artist Wayne Hall, a self- taught still life master.

“He said when he painted, he went to a whole other world, so that tells you how much he enjoyed it,” said his daughter Linda Hall.

Wayne Hall’s journey as an artist is unique because he only started painting in earnest at age 62, after retiring from his career as a roofer. Even more amazingly, he was entirely self-taught – Linda Hall said he checked out every book about oil painting at the Paris Public Library. He learned traditional oil painting techniques, found the methods to make his artworks last and framed many of his own pieces.

His dedication is indicative of a life spent loving art.

“He was always interested in it, it was always like a hobby. Even when he was young he had a desire to paint,” said Linda Hall.

Wayne Hall looked up to realist painters such as Jean Chardin, Raphael Peale and Thomas Eakins. His subjects are often their subjects — flowers, landscapes and most prevalently, still lifes.

“This was his forte — still lifes,” noted Link director Susan Stafford.

According to his daughter, Wayne Hall was fascinated by composition. His still lifes are an eclectic mix of objects from pitchers and tools to bird nests and bottles.

“He just picked out things that just appealed to him, they had maybe a certain look or certain curves,” Linda Hall said.

Produce is a frequent guest in his paintings. Wayne Hall told his daughter he worked fast when painting fruits so he could eat them before they spoiled.

His floral pieces were requested by his wife, Thelma, according to Stafford. These are executed in a softer style and brighter palette than most of his still lifes.

Wayne Hall made up for lost time in his art career through sheer proliferation. He painted for more than 30 years until his death in 2015 at the age of 96. He won awards in local art shows, including some in Paris, but never tried to sell his work. This now creates a dilemma for Linda Hall, who has found herself needing to downsize while possessing over 320 of his canvasses.

Stafford said the show came about after Linda Hall contacted her about potential outlets to sell the paintings, and Stafford suggested a show was due since Wayne Hall was a Paris artist. His paintings remain on display at the Link Art Gallery through Friday, July 16, and are priced at $200 apiece.

Giving up her father’s paintings is bittersweet for Linda Hall, but she is comforted by the thought they could last a long, long time with people who see and love his vision.

“I’d like to find them good homes,” she said.

The Link Art Gallery is located at 132 South Central Avenue in Paris and is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Admission is free. More information about the Wayne Hall show and purchasing paintings can be found by calling (217) 466-8130 or emailing parislinkartgallery@gmail.com.