Scott Hale, Celebration of Fine Art
Imagine being in an art gallery enjoying a painting. This particular landscape looks wonderfully executed, but there is an aspect to it, almost 'inside' the painting that feels quite unusual. When the realization comes that it's an oil painting on copper, one might think "I didn't know that could be done."
This was artist Scott Hale's (www.scotthalefineart.com) very own experience when he first discovered paintings on copper in a Seattle-area gallery in the mid 90's. At that time, he was an amateur artist, in his first job just out of college in an unrelated career. He began painting full time in 2003, but it wasn't until 2006 that he started experimenting with oil on copper. "It was always in the back of my mind, this one painter whose work on copper fascinated me." says Scott, "I had wanted to try it but thought I'd become more proficient with oil in general before trying to integrate this difficult surface."
Since then, the Bozeman, Montana-based artist has been building up his familiarity with the technique and has been concentrating on executing it on a larger scale during the past year. At the Celebration of Fine Art going on in Scottsdale, he is exhibiting many paintings on copper that are 3 feet square or larger. Scott says some of its challenges are its inherent smoothness, building up intial layers, and balancing translucency of the pigment with the copper's visual strength. Many art enthusiasts are not aware that there is a tradition of oil painting on copper that goes back as far as the late 16th century. The Phoenix Art Museum held an exhibition in the late 90's comprised entirely of oil paintings on copper from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.