Gregory Hull’s new painting, Near the Top, is from his Wind River series, and is a beautiful, almost poetic image of a lone contemporary cowboy walking his horse across a meadow. The feeling of the breezy, mountain day comes across through Hull’s expressive, painterly style while the cowboy on the horse presents a feeling of strength and comfort.
Gregory Hull, Near the Top, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 50"
“This painting came about from a pack trip in the Wind river Wilderness in Wyoming and a trail which follows peaks and lakes at an altitude of over 10,000 feet,” says Hull. “I wanted to try to convey the irresistible romance of the West and pack trips into high mountains, and the relationship of man and horse.”
While this most recent piece contains both figurative and landscape elements, Hill is mainly known for his nature paintings of both the Southwest as well as the California coast.
“The main body of the work is Southwest in theme, though I am known in California for my seascapes and California landscapes,” says Hull. “Colorwise, I find a much warmer palette for the Southwest painting. I’ve done a lot of plein air work on location and I think the light in the Southwest is very clear and bright. There’s also not a lot of atmospheric perspective and you can see for miles.”
Gregory Hull, Teton Reflections, Oil on Canvas, 18 " x 24 "
Painting on location is particularly important for Hull. But, for him, it’s more than just going out to these places. Hull has made it a priority to get there on horseback, river rafts, hiking – whatever the situation may call for.
“It’s really inspiring, especially when you do go on horseback into the mountains and to camp out,” says Hull. “It’s a difficult, physical thing to do, but when you’re up there in the weather, it’s just really inspiring to be there on the spot. I get a lot of work done that way, with no distractions at all. You’re there with nature and completely surrounded by it.”
Gregory Hull, Fields of Home, Sedona, Oil on Canvas, 24 " x 30"
Hull was trained as a figurative painter and had a 15-year career as a still life painter. However, it is these landscape images of the West that have become the main focus of his career now.
Gregory Hull, Rocky Mountain High, Oil on Canvas Board, 16 " x 20"
“I had a very strong academic training at the University of Utah and received my master’s degree there, but it was mainly in figure painting,” says Hull. “But, I always did landscapes on the side. With the still life painting, I believe that there is a compositional element that is the same in both genres. And, just like still lifes, these landscapes are all about the light. But, I just got tired of being in the studio all the time and just wanted to get outdoors and paint on location.”
Gregory Hull, Below the Rim , Oil on Canvas, 20" x 24 "
Growing up in Utah, painting and being surrounded by the grand vistas of the Western landscape was a natural fit for Hull.
“I’m just a product of the West and the Western landscape and growing up my parents always took us on trips to the national parks,” says Hull. “It just really instilled an enthusiasm for nature and the natural wonders of the area and there are just plenty of them in the West.”
Gregory Hull, Grand Canyon Journey, Oil on Canvas, 30" x 40"
Hull finds himself drawn to these outdoor, secluded places and is usually attracted to such locations through the lack of human presence he finds there.
“I definitely crave the wide-open spaces more than the closed in, populated areas,” says Hull. “If I paint a beach, I leave out the people and if I’m painting some houses on a hill, I always leave out a few. I think I wish for places that aren’t so crowded and for a time when there wasn’t so much civilization or people, which is especially appropriate in California. My studio is in Sedona and it is very quiet and peaceful there, so I’m able to get a lot of work done.”
Return to Gregory Hull's Paintings
Gregory Hull, Morning Coffee, Oil on Canvas Board, 16" x 20"