Most of Rocky Hails’ work in figurative sculpture and oil painting are narratives from the West, nature, and biblical passages. These genre often produce moments when an event transitions.
“Whether it is the chuck wagon cook guarding the dutch oven against imminent thievery, the fox turned into the breeze or the rabbit at the decisive second before bolting, or Peter called to step out onto the waves, each is of that instant before everything changes. Part of the joy and challenge is seeking to capture the “fleeting” in the permanence of bronze or oil,” says Hails.
Born in Texas, crossing the border as an infant, Rocky Hails was reared in Oklahoma. He has been a surveyor of the Old West since carrying a Johnny Ringo two-gun holster with cap guns, rounding up the bad guys. Rocky is married to Darise, his artistic enthusiast and a true Texas woman, who is classically trained in voice. The blessing of their grown children continues to bring them both great joy.
Following an undergraduate degree in graphic design and graduate school in communication, Rocky worked for over a decade as a magazine art & design director before taking his current position as part of the pastoral staff at his church. Additionally, he has served as an adjunct faculty and instructor on the staffs of several universities.
A family birthday gift in March of 2012 was a sculpting workshop with artist Bob Willis. Sculpting that morning was “like shaking hands with an old friend.” For the first time in more than 30 years, Rocky began working in clay, becoming an ardent student. He has greatly benefited from the online demonstrations and mentorship of David Lemon, a master sculptor of the West, as well as workshops with Cowboy Artists of America Richard Loeffler and Bruce Greene. Locally, the ongoing teaching and demonstrations of Jim Franklin and the Oklahoma Sculpture Society have fanned the flame. These influences have been used to knead into Rocky’s sculptures, the West, faith, and design.