Brian Hinkle lives and works in Wichita, Kansas, where he has lived for most of his life. When he is not painting, he keeps busy teaching painting, drawing, portraiture, figure study and enameling at The Wichita Center For The Arts since 1996. Brian was Gallery director at The Wichita Center for The Arts until 2008. He is currently developing a full-time career as a studio artist.
Brian’s most recent series of paintings are Kansas landscapes. Starting in January 2009, Brian returned to painting the landscape after many years of exploring abstraction. This change is a reflection of his current move toward working as an artist full-time. His new landscapes relate the simple beauty of the everyday sights of the Kansas: roads, farms, towns, an old barn, livestock in the fields, the scenes you see as you drive down the highway.
Brian believes in the ongoing relevance & importance of oil painting as a medium of artistic expression.
HIs goal is to help the traditional craft of oil painting continue as a vibrant modern art form.
Brian is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa with a bachelors degree in Mathematics in 1986. He spent a semester abroad at Sterling University, in Sterling, Scotland, in 1985 and later went on to receive his M.F.A. degree in painting from Wichita State University in 1992. It was during his semester in Scotland that Brian decided to dedicate his life to painting.
Brian exhibits his paintings across the United States in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Florida and New Mexico, and Florence, Italy at the Bienalle Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea 2003. His artwork is included in numerous collections regionally, as well as in New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Germany. Brian has been active on the Wichita Art Scene for many years, as one of the founding members of Acme Gallery, and showing regularly in exhibitions at the Big Sky Gallery Hall and City Arts. His paintings were featured in a solo exhibition at Trish Higgins Fine Art in 2002, and at the Dennis Morgan Gallery in Kansas City in 2004. His artwork is currently represented by Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri,
Strecker-Nelson Gallery in Manhattan, Kansas, ArtWorks, Inc. in Wichita, and Taylor’s Contemporanea in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Brian has also accomplished a number of commissioned portraits of people, their pets, and their homes! Over the years, Brian’s artwork has ranged over a number of stylistic phases. His periods can be roughly divided as follows: Early pastel and oil landscapes done at Grinnell 1982-1986 under the influence of Bobbie McKibbin, his first significant mentor. Starting in the late 1980’s, Brian explored abstraction at W.S.U. and into the mid-1990s. This initial period of abstract exploration shows the influence of Picasso, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Rufino Tamayo and other early 20th century Modernist painters. Artwork from this period includes stylistic references to Cubism, Naive and Outsider art, pictographic symbols, and whimsical lyrical abstraction.
In 1999, Brian’s paintings took a turn from abstraction toward representation. Pictographic symbols were “fleshed out” into more solid illusionistic forms. Paintings from this period are painted using glazing techniques derived from the Old Masters, and show the influence of Gothic & Renaissance painting and American Regionalist painters such as Grant Wood. This period includes figurative narrative paintings, landscapes, nudes, and commissioned portraits.
In 2004, Brian’s paintings took another turn, this time back toward abstraction. His goal was to “loosen up” after growing increasingly more precise and detail oriented in his figurative work. Brian’s painting in this period show a strong Cubist influence and are also influenced by the music of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.
Beginning in January 2009, Brian returned to painting the Kansas Landscape, this time largely motivated by a desire to make a living as an artist! It’s hard to sell nudes or abstracts in the Mid-West, so he turned to the landscape partly in response to a “challenge” to work toward the market, rather than stubbornly against it! His newest work is rich and realistic with an emphasis on mood and sense of atmosphere. And thus begins the latest chapter in a long a varied artistic journey.