The western United States has always provided lively fodder for creatives.

“Mountain Ghost”, (36 inches by 24 inches) oil on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

From enchanting mesas captured by photographer Ansel Adams on black and white film to burnt orange cliffs brought to life by painter Georgia O’Keeffe, endless inspiration seeps into intriguing vistas and secluded farms.

Lyon-based artist Malena Hirschfeld—who grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina—takes the tradition of wildlife and landscape art into another realm.

In his work, viewers can marvel at majestic stags, inquisitive bears, pensive cougars, and royal horses – a creature that often emerges in his captivating paintings. But the background is often abstract.

"Autumn," (36"x24") oil on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld.  (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)
“Autumn”, (36 inches by 24 inches) oil on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

From crimson suns to oversized moons made luminous through the careful placement of copper foil, the details always result in an alluring scene.

The juxtaposition of lifelike animals amidst a backdrop tinged with gold leaf lends an ethereal finish, a dreamy place viewers are sure to want to linger in.

A number of his pieces, which often sell out quickly, can be found at Western Stars Gallery and Studio, a Lyon boutique which, among an abundance of original works of art, offers a selection of antiques, jewellery, home decor and more.

We caught up with Hirschfeld to learn more about her artistic process, what she hopes her work will bring to buyers’ homes, and where collectors can next buy her sought-after pieces.

“Peace”, (36 inches by 24 inches) oil and copper foil on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

Kalene McCort: I like the mixture of realism and abstract styles found in your work. Did you always know your career path would be steeped in creative expression?

Malena Hirschfeld: I’ve loved art since I was a kid and majored in fine art at Colorado State, but it’s always been really hard for me to imagine that something I loved so much could be my career. I earned a Masters in Education and spent time teaching elementary school and then raising my own children, while painting abstract pieces and decorating the homes of my family and friends. It was only recently that I made the decision to pursue this passion as a full-time profession. It was then that my love of abstraction and my appreciation of Western art merged and I found my own style.

Malena Hirschfeld, an <a class=artist based in Lyon, produces paintings representing landscapes, fauna and much more. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)” width=”2316″ data-sizes=”auto” src=”https://i0.wp.com/www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/DCC-L-MAL-03.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&ssl=1″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/DCC-L-MAL-03.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&ssl=1 620w,https://i0.wp.com/www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/DCC-L-MAL-03.jpg?fit=310%2C9999px&ssl=1 310w”/>
Malena Hirschfeld, an artist based in Lyon, produces paintings representing landscapes, fauna and much more. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

KM: What does your process look like? Do you often work from photographs or just draw from your imagination?

MH: I do a bit of both. I usually find a photograph that inspires me with interesting factors, such as lighting and composition. I then sketch the image and add shapes and lines to create an interesting composition. I then transfer the sketch to canvas and start painting with my oil paints.

Lately I’ve been particularly drawn to using circles to further connect the animals in my pieces. It is important to me that the anatomy/proportions are correct on the animal I am painting. I use abstraction in color, texture and backgrounds in my work.

KM: Horses seem like a great muse to you. What is your connection to these majestic creatures?

MH: Horses have been both a fascination and an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. They played a role in teaching me independence, patience, responsibility and creative escape. The individuality, intelligence, grace and beauty of horses is what I hope to capture in my work.

"Rocky Mountain Bull," (22"x28") oil and copper leaf on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld.  (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)
“Rocky Mountain Bull”, (22 inches by 28 inches) oil and copper foil on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

KM: What do you hope your pieces add to buyers’ interior spaces?

MH: When someone walks into a space where my painting is on display, I hope they can appreciate the beauty of wildlife and horses through a less traditional lens. My ultimate goal is to showcase the natural beauty of subjects through my love of vibrant colors and varying textures. I want to provide colorful, bold and expressionistic qualities that are not often seen in western art.

KM: What are you currently working on and are there any upcoming holiday shows or markets you plan to attend?

MH: Right now I’m working on a series of paintings which includes groups of animals with abstract backgrounds using shapes, lines, colors and copper or gold leaf. I haven’t quite decided what to call the series. I just finished one of the paintings. It’s called “Leisure”. I plan on making a few pieces similar to this with moose, deer and bears.

"Hobbies," oil and copper leaf on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld.  (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)
“Leisure”, oil and copper leaf on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

Currently, most of my available work is at the Western Stars Gallery in Lyon. I have a piece in the “Nocturnal” exhibition at the Main Street Gallery in Lyon until November 19th. I attended Loveland’s Art in the Park last summer and plan to return this summer, along with a few other art festivals. I have also applied to a few shows that will notify me of acceptance next month. Crossed fingers. My website and Instagram will be updated with details when I have them.

To learn more about Hirschfeld’s art, visit malenahirschfeldart.com.

"Presentations," (36"x24") oil and copper leaf on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld.  (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)
“Introductions,” (36 inches by 24 inches) oil and copper foil on canvas, by Malena Hirschfeld. (Malena Hirschfeld/courtesy photo)

Previous

The contract for the judicial cars will not go to the Prime Minister's friend

Next

Austin Studio Tour 2022 Is All Over the Map: Annual ATX Art Celebration Expands to Match the Size of the City

Check Also