Hanne Lore Koehler, one of our esteemed Canadian artists, paints in vivid, exciting colors that illustrate the energy, drive and enthusiasm of competition. Her paintings move you into the action and astound you.
Koehler describes her work saying, "Most of my sports paintings could have the same title: ANTICIPATION. They depict that moment when you hold your breath and wonder if the athlete will "make it". My love for action and fascination with capturing a flash of movement in this motionless art form should be evident in my sports paintings. Only the experience itself can compare with the delight I feel when I have captured an athlete in the excitement of the moment, in anticipation of the next jump, wave or whirlpool. Every athlete, professional or amateur, can identify with the adrenaline rush felt in that instant portrayed in my painting. This work for me is revitalizing, refreshing, uninhibited.
“When composing a sports action painting, I usually paint my subjects in detailed realism, concentrating on a focal point, an area of the painting to which I want to draw attention. Contorted faces straining to keep a canoe on course through white water rapids, beads of water sliding down the sides of a colorful kayak as it emerges from a swirling eddy, muscles tensed on the mountain biker, the thoroughbred race horse, the wind surfer soaring high above a monster wave - it is the capture of this action that fascinates me.
“In contrast to this detail, my backgrounds are impressionistic. A spray of water as a wave smashes against a boulder distorts details of the background in actuality; so, why not paint it that way? In reality, the eye tries to focus on the action of the subject and details of the background do not register on the brain. Details disappear into peripheral vision.
“I concentrate on creating a balance in the painting - light and dark, warm and cool colors, rough and smooth texture, near and far spaces, high and low chroma, soft and hard edges, realistic focal point and impressionistic background, etc. These Yin and Yang elements create the tension in my paintings, the impression of movement, the excitement."