Wallace Hulley – "A Passing Scene"

by Cindy Paul

Artist Wallace Hulley is a renowned painter in South Africa, born to the palette knife and wielding it effectively for more than 45 years. His body of work on SouthAfricanArtists.com reflects a grand love for tribal African peoples, South African wildlife, and landscapes. Having spent much of his artistic life creating with oils and palette knife, he switched to watercolor and found success with the brush.

"A Passing Scene" is an oil on board featuring several white cottages with rough brown roofs. The foreground is given over to palette knife slashes of varicolored creams with teal and salmon rays incorporated for texture. It is this almost purely amorphous foreground that provides most of the perspective for the painting. A stormy indigo sky has been laid down behind the buildings and their surrounding trees, and the high-contrast lighting rimes each building with bold white lines.

"Sunlit Cottage" is another  atmospheric oil painting in a similar vein. A small white cottage is nearly hidden by a large tree in the foreground. Looking closer, we are swept away by the heavily textured strokes and fearless use of shadow.

A large oil called "African Market" is on the high end of Hulley’s work in this gallery. It is a complicated depiction of the marketplace, full of lively people, wares, and vivacity. "After the Rain" is a mid-priced treasure portraying a simple earthen road full of Hulley’s characteristic palette work. The path winds off the page, surrounded by lovely vegetation and framed by a blue-washed sky.