By Bonnie Gangelhoff
What inspired your winning entry? I moved into a new house, and the vise was in the garage, left by the previous owners. As soon as I saw it, I knew I was going to use it in a painting. Just the shape and colors attracted me. As a still-life painter, I thought it was an interesting object. I wondered what I could do with it that would show its qualities. I decided to put an egg in the vise to contrast the strength of the vise with the fragility of the egg. I broke two eggs when I first started as I was tightening the vise. I learned by the third egg that it only took a slight extra turn to crack the egg. I then suspended the hammer so it could fall on the handle of the vise, turning it, and thus cracking the egg. Then I thought, what if I burned a candle that could burn the string that held the hammer that would then turn the vise and crack the egg?
Do you come from an artistic background? My grandfather dabbled in watercolors. My other grandfather was a master carpenter.
Where did you study art? I have a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Hull School of Art & Design in Hull, England, and I did post-graduate teaching at Sussex University in Brighton, England.
What is your favorite subject matter, and why? I like taking everyday objects and presenting them in a way that is unusual. Humor plays a big part in my work. I may find an object and then that object leads to collecting other objects to go with it.
What is the best advice you have ever received? Only show your best paintings.
What is the most meaningful recognition you have received for your artwork? It’s great when you sell a painting. Someone has to put a hand in their pocket and pay for it. BREAKFAST SPECIAL: HAM’R AND EGGS won the Donor’s Award of Excellence at the Oil Painters of America show held at Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale this year.
What is the one thing people will never see you paint? I don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t paint.
Future goals? I want to push myself to do work that takes people’s breath away.
Representation: RARE Gallery, Jackson, WY; www.richardhallfineart.com.
Featured in our annual “21 Over 31” competition in November 2010