When Hallee Turner walked into our office last week I couldn't help but notice the stark difference between her kind, gentle nature, though in knowing her since she was little girl I know she's no delicate damsel, and the bold audacious confidence with which she paints. There's a wild, creative hair in this one and we like it.
Hallee has spent the last 4 years thoroughly dedicated to the fine arts program at TU; the pieces hanging in the shop are part of her senior portfolio. She tells us, "Most days off have been pretty devoted to finishing up projects for school as the semester is almost over." However, though she's working hard to wrap up a well-spent chapter of her life, she likes to set aside time for her own personal projects. When asked what a normal Saturday looks like she responds, " painting in my apartment, drinking tea and listening to music."- When painting her favorite melodic inspiration is the pressing and smooth voice of James Bay and the mellow indie rock band Young the Giants.
Her focus and intent as an art student has been to discover the sort of painter she wants to be. Hallee says," I feel like I'm finally figuring that out and will hopefully become more involved in the art community." As her learning experience at TU has unfolded she has had some notable creative paradigm shifts, one of which has stuck with her throughout her college career; Hallee recalls, " During my freshmen year of College I was working on an abstract type of painting, and I thought it was going pretty well, but my teacher came over and flipped it upside down and it was instantly better. The way I had painted the light in the piece made way more sense once it had been rotated. That has always stuck in my head and has been very useful.”
Although she has dabbled in a variety of subjects when painting, her favorite remains portraits and flowers and on occasion the two combined; explaining she says, " I have always found faces to be so interesting and beautiful, but when I got to college I also discovered a love for the repetitiveness that can be found in flowers. The mix of the two subject matters may seem a little disjointed, but I try to paint them in a way that they could be somewhat cohesive because I find them more interesting together." Although Hallee's preferred style of painting veers more toward Impressionism and thickly applied paints, she loves the work of Traditionalist William Aldolphe Bouguereau; she recalls walking into the the Philbrook Museum as a young girl, her eyes fixed on Bouguereau's The Little Shepardess- Since this encounter he has remained one of her favorite painters.
Now, with graduation approaching and the world awaiting, ready for the talented Mrs. Turner to burst through it's doors, she's left asking herself, what next?With recollections of walking through one of Robert Wyland's studios in Maui at 12 years old, realizing art could actually be a career choice; Hallee is pondering her artistic path. With a valuable piece of wisdom and remarkable talent we see a spectacularly bright future for Hallee; she states, " I think the best piece of advice I have been given is to have a job doing something you are passionate about. I know a lot of really successful people who hate what they do, and I have been incredibly blessed to have so many people in my life that are so supportive of my pursuing art. There are many more practical career paths, but painting is what I love to do."