“Painting is almost like reining in the chaos.”
For Kim Hall, painting first piqued her interest while stationed with her family in Naples, Italy surrounded by fine art and a mother who liked to paint. “Art was what I did for comfort and something I always go back to.” Since graduating from George Mason University, with continued studies at The Corcoran School of Art, Kim has spent most of her life painting and plans to continue doing exactly that.
You might say the plein air landscape is Kim’s bread and butter, but it was not always her main focus. After some encouragement from mentors, Kim decided to try painting en plein air and has not looked back. Now a member of several plein air painting groups, Kim travels frequently to juried plein air events around the country. Kim’s subject matter is often a rotation of Richmond hot spots like Pony Pasture, old Virginia ramshackle barns, run down alleyways, and architecture. “Anything that tells a story and has personality and history is interesting to me. It also forces you to go explore new and different areas. There's nothing better than getting lost trying to find some place to paint.” Even painting on the side of the road is fair game for Kim.
Since the pandemic began, Kim has thought more intentionally about her art and branching out into new subject matter. “I want to be a well-rounded artist. I love artists that can paint the figure as well as landscape equally well. There is so much to learn and explore.” In fact, she has plans to travel to Ireland for a residency to practice painting interior scenes and figure studies. “Sometimes it’s a surprise when you get inspired and start a new series.”
Upon reflection, Kim says while balancing life and painting can feel like reining in chaos, the key is to keep moving forward and focus on growth. “When things don’t work out, get up and try again the next day. It’s the same with painting, just keep working at it and trying new things.”