The interplay of the urban environment and natural landscape is my primary artistic inspiration. One goal of my work is to convey a broad sense of place while retaining the identity of local subjects. Social, economic, and environmental issues that underpin the reality of place inspire mark-making depicting subjects selected from the historic layers of the city and earthscape. Quick application of bright color provides the contextual foil and accentuates the fluid characteristic of paint and subject. Using plein-air excursions and a freestyle process to generate a spontaneous experience on and off the canvas I invite the audience to take time and ponder the significance of a place they may have passed but not seen.
Hal Koenig became a full-time artist in 2012 following a 30-year architectural career in southeast Wisconsin, and has been practicing seriously as an artist since 2005. Hal works about 75 percent of the time in oil and most of the rest in acrylic, with some exploration in other media. His experience in architecture and rendering pen and ink sketches with watercolor markers built the drawing foundation for the present work. When practical, the paintings begin plein-air. He is fortunate to have a strong regional sensibility gleaned from many fulfilling years living in one place, and is synthesizing an art passion with a history of working relationships in the community. Hal’s studio is located in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.
2014 First Place "Last Run", Riverkeeper Art Competition, Milwaukee, WI
2013 "Best in Painting" Festival of the Arts, Oconomowoc WI
2013 "Jurors' Choice", Hidden River Arts Festival, Brookfield WI
2012 "Summer Painting Exhibition", Wisconsin Museum of Art
2012 Finalist, Pfister Hotel Artist-in Residence Competition
2008 "Open Canvas" Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
2006 Milwaukee's Third Ward Gallery Night and Day
Bachelor of Architecture at North Dakota State University
Master of Science in Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison