Feline Fascination

Painting & Illustration

by Joshua Heston

The simple act of applying paint (or ink or graphite) to substrate — whether it be paper, wood or canvas — seems a simple enough act.

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However, beyond the materials and techniques, there lies the power of human emotion. The interaction of heart and mind and the world around us.

The Ozarks have long been a source of great inspiration, as evidenced by individuals such as Thomas Hart Benton, Rose O’Neill, George Kieffer and M.E. Olliver.

It is an endeavor that continues to this day.

Celebrating the Ozark Mountains (and her people) through painting — that is what this section is all about.

Sam Hull

Painter, Watercolor

Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Sam Hull has lived all over this great country.

When it came time to retire, however, the Ozarks “were the kind of country we’d like to stay in,” he notes from his home overlooking both Lake Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lake near Forsyth, Missouri.

He and his wife Sue moved here in 1985.

It is an inspiring view from the home of a deeply talented watercolor painter devoted to his craft — and dedicated to capturing a moment in time as well as a sense of nostalgia in each piece.

“Cold, foggy weather has more character,” Hull continues. “And I like to paint foggy paintings.” It is a look and feel aptly suited to his watercolor style. Soft washes and delicate brush strokes bring luminous sunlit fog banks and the sweeping arch of oak and elm to life.

Having dabbled most of his life with sketching and painting, Hull discovered watercolor while living in Memphis, Tennessee. “There was an artist who was showing some of her stuff and I didn’t know it was watercolor. I asked her if she taught classes and she said, as a matter of fact, she did.”

“It’s a tough medium, though. Most people shy away from watercolor because of that. Like golf, you are never in total control and you have to go with what happens.”

Hull’s work often surprises observers. “I work to get contrasts and detail,” he notes. “And a lot of people think watercolor is all about soft tones. I also work to capture a moment in time, whether it is that first snowfall or the wind blowing the clothes on the line. I paint what I think about, combining a variety of elements.”

Hull, who is associated with the Forsyth Art Guild as well as the Table Rock Art Guild, teaches regularly. “It takes a long time to get a feel for watercolor but you can get started very easily. With a wash brush, a medium and a round and some good paper, you can paint. It’s like fishing. You can fish with just a couple of lures.”

Hull uses Arches paper (usually 140-pound cold press) and Winsor-Newton paints. A 30-year old palette box keeps his paints moist. “You paint to save the white,” reminds the artist, “It’s about painting the lights and the darks.”

A regular contributor to the venerable White River Art Show, Sam Hull continues to contribute mightily to the art culture of these Ozark Mountains.

— by Joshua Heston, October 19, 2011

plate 1. Amy Callaway’s piece Feline Fascination was accepted by the book The Magic of Texture. Above left, a portrait of the artist’s father — painted for her parent’s 50th wedding annniversary — looks on.

Amy Callaway

plate 2. Dogwood blossoms and guitars framed by a country quilt complete this scene by KIrbyville artist Callaway. “I wanted to paint something that embodied the music and beauty of Branson,” shares Callaway.

Amy Callaway

plate 3. Gourd art is something Callaway is now experimenting with. This piece showcases a dahlia blossom in pastel and colored pencil.

Sam Hull

plate 4. Sam Hull with Alley Spring Mill painting.

water color palette

plate 5. Watercolor palette.


plate 6. “With a wash brush, a medium and a round and some good paper, you can paint. It’s like fishing. You can fish with just a couple of lures.” — Sam Hull

Photo credits: J. Heston. Location:Forsyth, Missouri • SOTO © Archive October 19, 2011.

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If you haven’t yet discovered the Table Rock Art Gallery, it’s time to add this stop to your creative art tour.

The Gallery features art for everyone — from original note cards to large impressive, original works of art. You’ll find paintings, photography, pottery, sculpture, fabric art, glassworks, woodworking, jewelry and more — all created by member artists and all ready to purchase and enjoy.

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Thirty-five years ago, the area’s pioneering artists founded Table Rock Art Guild and Gallery in Kimberling City (just north of the Kimberling Bridge). Today, the Gallery is a treasure trove of works by 70 talented local artists!

Celebrate the arts at our Mardi Gras-themed Annual Fall Festival of Art on Oct. 3–4 at the Kimberling Area Library, 45 Lake Road in Kimberling City. Meet, visit and learn from nearly 40 artists!

We are located in the Kimberling City Plaza: 11863 State Highway 13, Unit 11. We are open 10AM-4PM Monday through Saturday.

Visit TableRockArtGuild.com. Call (417) 739-5829.

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