Burton Hanna is an artist creating original palette knife oil paintings.
Burton has been creating art for as long as he can remember. Youth provided a glimpse into his destiny, although he did not know it at the time. Born in 1954, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a young Burton realized that he had decent drawing skills and he would occasionally draw with graphite and charcoal.
In 2002, he started painting with oils. By 2006, Burton realized he was no longer content to engage in the creation of art as a hobby. It was this year that he began to comprehend the intrinsic relation of art to his life and initiated a much more serious pursuit. In this leg of his journey he also started expanding his knowledge about art through workshops that taught rudimentary skills and foundational approaches and he started actively seeking art’s history. Even though his artistic journey was, in many ways, just beginning he knew the value of art was more than producing a sellable piece.
Early on, his paintings were primarily composed in a representational, smooth style. However, he found his being resonating with styles that were expressive and spontaneous and thus his eyes and hands were drawn methods and tools that would bring his soul’s imagination, his heart’s history, and his eyes’ feasts to life. It was then that he began using a palette knife with oils to create uniquely styled and original paintings. The palette knife allows him the ability to sculpt and mold oil on canvas and create reliefs, ridges, sharp lines, in order to blend the colors, moments, and movement of the past, present, and future. Ultimately, allowing him the opportunity to fully express his love for his subject matter and his passion for painting.
His work is influenced by the majestic splendor of his home, Alaska, where he resides with his wife. He is additionally influenced by his heritage. Burton’s mother was Lakota, he is an enrolled member of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, and his father was Norwegian. He finds himself inspired to capture and share his journeys through the land surrounding him and the tradition of Native American powwow dancing in its authenticity, intensity, truth, action, and power.
exploring TOSCA magazine chose Burton Hanna as the 2016 Alaska Artist of the Year for their American Artists Series.
I’m grateful for the ability to use oil painting to record some of the beauty that surrounds us. Oil painting for me is not only a way to record the sights I see, but the paint allows me to express my feelings and some of the spirit I feel in the places I get to visit.
Palette knife painting with oils allows me to mold paint and light into an exciting composition that I hope will evoke feelings in the viewer that are akin to my own feelings when I’m painting. Whether the feelings are awe and inspiration or serenity and peace, I find I can express them using color, tonal values and compositions to convey those feelings to the viewers of my work.
I work hard to be the best I can be and to provide the best art I can produce. I use the highest quality materials and tools. I will continue to improve and develop my style and technique in my journey to artistic excellence.