Hal DeWaltoff is inspired by the American Impressionists, the Tonalists and a number of modern painters whose artistic ideals match his goals as an artist. The essence of his enthusiastic approach to the difficult task of making a good painting is the joy of standing in front of nature and experiencing the risk and thrill of trying to capture its beauty. He also has a great interest in the Far East in all its mystery. Prior to becoming a full time artist, Hal travelled extensively on business spending a great deal of time in China, Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong. He has been fascinated by the culture and people ever since. Many of his still lifes include artifacts from trips and from collecting here in the U.S., and especially enjoys the tension that different objects can create on a canvas. He notes that during the mid to late 1800s the hills and mountains of New England and the shores of Eastern Long Island were thick with landscape painters. Today only a handful of professional artists make the effort to work directly from nature. He believes it is the backbone of all subsequent work produced in the studio and provides the collector with an authenticity that remains timeless. Though largely self-taught, Hal has studied and painted with well-known New England artists Joseph McGurl and William R. Davis. Working alongside such modern masters provides a wonderful incentive, and a sharing of technique and observation that harks back to the artistic culture of the great painters we still admire. Mr. DeWaltoff has had numerous one-man shows in New England and on Long Island.