Hal Reed (1921 – 2003)
Hal Reed was an American impressionist portrait painter, sculptor, teacher and author.
- Early life
- Painter, sculptor, teacher and author
- Exhibitions and awards
Hal Reed was born in Frederick, Oklahoma in 1921. In 1928, his family moved to Southern California. His mother had been an art teacher at a college in Mississippi prior to her marriage and later instilled in her son an early interest in art. With the outbreak of World War II, Hal joined the Army Engineers and as a master sergeant oversaw the photogrammetric section making maps for the First American Army during their operation in Europe. Hal was awarded a battlefield commission and won the bronze star and five battle stars for distinguished service. He also served as operations director for a mapping unit during the Korean conflict.
Before devoting all his time to art, he worked with a major oil company in such diverse capacities as head of Photogrammetric, Cartographic and Reproduction sections, as Coordinator of Special Projects, as Land Administrator, and as Director and Vice President of two subsidiary companies.
Painter, Sculptor, Teacher and Author
Hal subsequently became a fulltime artist and art instructor. His art studies included the Trade Technical College, the Art Center School of Design, and the Art League of San Francisco. In the early to mid-1950’s, he studied under Nicolai Fechin, a 20th century Russian Master at Fechin’s Santa Monica studio in California. Hal sought to learn Nicolai Fechin’s specific oil painting and charcoal drawing techniques. The weekly classes with this Master artist provided students with insight and inspiration. But on October 5, 1955, the Russian Master, Nicolai Fechin unexpectedly died in his sleep at age 74. The 9-student art class was shocked and completely unprepared for it. ¹ Three of his students, Hal Reed, Joseph Nordmann and Albert Londraville, all of whom were strongly influenced by their teacher, remained life-long friends and each became a recognized professional artist.
Hal founded the Art League of Los Angeles where he taught classes in composition and color harmony, anatomy, and advanced painting techniques. His book “How to Compose Pictures and Achieve Color Harmony” was published by Walter Foster Publications. His painting “Long Vigil” hung in California Governor Regan’s office and he was well represented in collections throughout California including the Los Angeles City Hall’s permanent collection. His awards include many first prizes and gold medals and he won the top award in sculpture in the Valley Artists Guild Gold Medal show with his first competitive entry.
Many artists credit Hal with being their teacher. In the early 1980’s, he also founded Art Video Productions. Hal gathered talented artists and instructors who in addition to himself made 280 instructional videos, many are still available. His own topics included color theory, figure studies, and portraiture. His “Analogous Color Wheel” remains very popular. Hal painted in oils and acrylics, he did charcoal portrait drawings, and sculpted in bronze and ceramics. He sculpted the figurines for the Red Skelton collection and he was commissioned to sculpt the Robert Fulton Medal for the National Commemorative Society (1971), the Eleanor Roosevelt Medal for the Society Commemorative de Femmes Celebres (1971), and the Atomic Age Medal for the Society of Medalists (1971).
- Council of Traditional Artists Societies (president 1971-72)
- American Artists Professional League of New York (Fellow, FAAPL)
- American Institute of Fine Arts (Fellow, FAIFA)
- Valley Artists Guild, Los Angeles (president and past president 1958-72)
- California Art Club (member)
- Artists’ Advisory Board to the California State Fair (chairman)
Exhibitions and Awards ²
- San Fernando Art Guild, 1st Place in Sculpture, Portrait, Seascape & Graphics, San Fernando, California, 1969
- National Open Sculpture Contest, 1st Place in Sculpture & McLeod Award, Washington D.C.,1972
- National Open Miniature Art Society of New Jersey, 1st Place in Sculpture & Purchase Award, New Jersey, 1972
- American Artists Professional League, New York, 1972
- California State Fair, Sacramento, 1972
- Olive Hyde Art Guild, Second Annual, Fremont, California, 1972
- Western Art Digest, Summer 1985, “N. Fechin, a personal memory” by Joseph Nordmann
- Membership, exhibition and award information was obtained from a fact sheet written by Hal Reed that was included in a photo album from the estate of his long-term artist friend Joseph Nordmann.
Information was also obtained from:
- Michael DeBord, a California art collector who researched the lives of three of Nicolai Fechin’s art students, Hal Reed, Joseph Nordmann and Albert Londraville, Cameron Park, California