Great Technical Skill in Adelaide Hiebel Art

by Levita Sullivan
(Fort Collins)

Very few artists who work with or worked with pastels can rival the technical skill or artistic imagination of Adelaide Hiebel. Noted as one of the finest female artists of her time, Adelaide Hiebel effectively earned merit among her mostly male peers.

Her works of art are particularly spell binding because of the vibrant use of colors, and the emotion conveyed in her art. One of Adelaide Hiebel's most beautiful works is a piece called "Fire Fly". This scene features a young native American squaw stoking a small fire. While it may sound in description to be a mundane or easily overlooked piece, it is extremely intricate.

From the deep, almost velveteen texture and blue hues of the nighttime sky, to each nook and cranky of tree bark, this piece is astounding. The woman in the artwork looks natural and peaceful, and the admirer is given a sense of tranquility and calm.

Adelaide Hiebel had a magical way of bringing nature and animals together with humans. She tended to picture dogs and birds with small children. The combination leaves the viewer feeling as if they are gazing on pure innocence. The warm feelings these works of art muster are one of the things truly great art is about.

A perfect example of this paring is "Boy and Faithful Dog". This piece showcases a young boy of about eight or nine, lounging under a tall tree in a cloudless blue sky. Next to him is a Collie, which seems to be scanning the horizon. One can assume, by the child's facial expression, he is daydreaming and lost in a world of excitement and fantasy. His pet, however, is not only humoring him on such a flight of fancy, but making sure he keeps his master protected by keeping a watchful eye on their surroundings.

Another famous work of art showcasing the relationship between children and animals is "Lady and Horse." In this piece, we see a young woman standing next to her horse, gently holding his bridle in her hands. Her blond hair is short and in loose curls, and contrasts beautifully next to the horse's deep ebony coat. Adelaide Hibel paid close attention to detail in this work, making sure the ears of the horse are tipped the same direction as his eyes, showing that his full attention lies in the distance. The young woman is also looking in that direction with a longing expression. It appears as if she is sharing her secrets with her beloved companion.

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