Everett Hibbard's paintings of animals have a historical frame of reference that is much wider than his subject matter. Numerous artists from prehistoric man to the Flemish masters, to Courbet who painted cows and Degas who was intrigued by horses, have been fascinated by animal forms.
However Hibbard's paintings are unique. Stylistically, they can only have been done in the 20th century and more particularly within the last 20 years. Hibbard is one of the few animal artists who has integrated the vitality of the recent movements in contemporary American art into paintings dealing with animal subjects. The painting of each feather or hair is incidental and does not concern Hibbard. His paintings deal with historical problems in art; the rendering of light and dark upon form and the formal problems in the construction of a painting.
One of Hibbard's favorite anecdotes states his position vis-a-vis his work. Ingres the famous neo-classicist is supposed to have encouraged Degas by saying "Draw, draw, it takes 30 years to learn to draw, and only 3 days to learn to paint." This is precisely what Hibbard does, he draws with a brush. His palette is warm and expressive, and his brushstrokes are a spontaneous rendering of form that are boldly self assured. Such spontaneity only comes after years of study and expresses familiarity and intimacy with the subject matter.
Putting aside technique, Hibbard's work ennunciates the intensity and immediacy of his experience, there by evoking a corresponding emotional response in the viewer. Having broken with the conventional wildlife rendering he has delved into a world of improvisation and expression.
Also his humane approach to the anatomical form of animals and their environment conveys the harmony as well as the excitement that Hibbard himself derives from his subject.