Artist Training - Kerry Hallam

A Continuing-Education Series from Chalk & Vemilion Fine Arts, Inc.


Unarguably, one of the best tools you can have to help you sell art is an understanding of the artist him/herself. The ability to convey interesting, pertinent information and to create a feeling about the artist adds an element to the level of interest that goes beyond a customer's initial reaction of "Gee, that's a pretty picture." Therefore, interspersed in this ongoing series will be information that we hope will be enlightening and informative about our Chalk & Vermilion published artists.

Kerry Hallam is a man with a character and personality as colorful as the impressionist works that he creates. He was born in Northern England but left there as a young man, first to work in the advertising field in London and then for the sunny coast of Southern France, where the magic of the Mediterranean left an indelible impression that has driven his artistic soul ever since.

Kerry had a moderately successful career as a recording artist, but always kept his sights on his painting. He left Europe in the early 1970s and ultimately settled on the island of Nantucket, where he still resides. He travels to Europe frequently, and around the country to shows that feature his work. He is also the proud father of a daughter, Karyad.

To impart a complete picture of this charming and gregarious man would be impossible in this small space. We suggest that you read the books that have been published of his work (see list at end) and especially his autobiography, "Getting to Nantucket" (call us if you'd like to purchase a copy of this very entertaining and well-written book!). In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite quotes that will give you some idea of Kerry's modus operandi and his delightful sense of humor:

  • "Having reached an age that I thought I would never see, I am amused to find that I am expected to be wise. I suppose that the rationale is that anyone that has lasted this long doing what I do must have some kind of answer. I wish this were the case, but it isn't. I am capable of making the same rash decisions and silly mistakes as when I was a spotty teenager with pubescent thoughts and unhealthy appetites."

  • Regarding his early start at selling his paintings, "I wish I could tell you that I was a child prodigy, but my artistic origins were far more pragmatic. Art appealed to my basic sense of larceny."

  • For awhile, Hallam traveled in a trailer up and down the East Coast, selling and creating paintings. He characterized a lot of what his fellow exhibitors were showing and selling as "couch art" - paintings chosen for no other reason than because they matched the purchaser's decor. "I continued trying to maintain a reasonable standard in the work I produced. Original oils and acrylics are not synthetic items stamped out on enormous presses in Taiwan. Each is unique, the product of a human being's emotional and mental makeup, which change hourly."

  • "There are times when you feel like you're a vehicle, like something is coming through you onto the canvas. That's how the Riviera pieces feel. There's some kind of magic in it, and what it is, I have no idea."

  • "I try to arrive at a definitive statement, a kernel of a landscape, or an experience which is universal in appeal. I'm communicating a particular feeling about something to as wide an audience as I can, so I have to use a simple language which has an immediate value in that it immediately communicates. Sometimes people ask me to describe what I was feeling when I painted a particular painting, and I always say that if I have to use words to help you understand, then I've failed."

  • Kerry's paintings are experiences in light and color, often depicting nautical and European-flavored locales. Of these subject matters, he writes "Originally, I painted a great deal of nautical subjects. My gallery was a shack off the end of the wharf - what else would I paint?"

And a personal favorite:

  • Kerry said that a woman at an art show asked him once, "Will your paintings be worth more after you die?" to which he replied, "I don't know, madam, but I suggest you not wait to find out - I'm not feeling very well today!"

In addition, we have slicks that were printed for all of Kerry's print releases, most of which were printed "blank" (that is, without our Chalk & Vermilion logo), that are suitable for you to distribute to your customers. Many of these slicks also contain wonderful snippets of information that add to the aura of the images. We are pleased to make available other sales tools, including:

  • Artistic Visions, the latest book to feature Kerry's works. Available with five different dust jackets, in both signed and unsigned versions. This beautiful, four color volume is indispensable as a reference tool and a catalogue to peruse with your customers.

  • A video featuring Kerry Hallam and his work, which is the perfect accompaniment to a Hallam show or exhibit.
    * Reprints of many articles that have been written about Kerry, his art, his travels, and his life story.

  • His autobiography, Getting to Nantucket, which is published by Corinthian books and available through Chalk & Vermilion.

55 Old Post road #2, Greenweich, CT 06830 (800) 877-2255

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