William Haskell and Bryan Haynes
Friday, July 7, 5:00 – 7:30
123 West Palace Avenue
Nestled in a high desert terrain, the regional landscapes and villages of the West inspire artist William Haskell to create exquisite drybrush watercolor and acrylic works which reflect his passion for this unique and diversified landscape. Weathered adobe structures are drenched in a crisp white light beneath Western mountain ranges, mesas and prairie lands in many of Haskell's colorful paintings. His focus on detail in his work goes beyond mere description of subject and draws the viewer into the painting for a more intimate connection with everyday forms and a sense of place.
Haskell began drawing at the early age of four, and was introduced to watercolor by the age of eleven. He says, "Drawing is the basis for my painting and it has been essential for me to continuously develop my drafting skills." He apprenticed to award-winning Wisconsin wildlife artist Terrill Knack, originally intending to specialize in painting birds of prey. His current work shows Knack's influence in discipline, as well as in his frequent use of wildlife in his landscape paintings.
Working in both watercolor and acrylic, Haskell has become known for the depth and quality of his glazes. He says, "With the use of dry brush techniques, I am able to take watercolor and acrylic to a different level by working as translucently or opaquely as needed. I seal, dry-mount and archivally varnish the finished painting. This removes the need for glass, which traditionally protects a watercolor. This allows the user to get closer to the work."
Historical figures, Native Americans and local characters inhabit the sweeping views of the New Regionalist paintings by Bryan Haynes. The valleys and mesas, bends and curves of the New Mexico landscape seem to shape the artist’s inspirations - sculpted in current design.
Since graduating of the Art Center College of Design in 1983 his artwork has been represented in New York, San Francisco, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Santa Fe. Recent corporate and institutional commissions include murals and large scale paintings for; The Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, The Missouri Botanical Garden’s permanent collection, The Westward Expansion Memorial Museum at the Arch, Novus International Inc., and the Danforth Plant Science Center. Additional patrons include Disney, Estee Lauder, Warner Bros., Toblerone – Switzerland, Universal Studios, IBM, Nike, Sony Music Corp., and Anhueser Busch.
Awards include - The Society of Illustrators-New York awards, Print Magazine Awards, Communication Arts Awards, and Graphis-Switzerland. “Haynes paintings feel familiar. His heroic history works have been likened to the WPA style of the 1930s as well as to that of American Dreamers Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish. Haynes (fairly) claims himself a descendent of Thomas Hart Benton and John Steuart Curry by calling his work Neo-regionalism. His paintings build upon the early-20th century Regionalism movement by including images, events and some of the artistic innovations of the past 100 years. The physiognomy of his figures calls to mind the strong, swaying bodies found in Benton’s Cradling Wheat (1938) and Curry’s The Mississippi (1935) at the St. Louis Art Museum. And like the figures in Benton and Curry’s paintings, each man and woman found in Haynes’ paintings is made noble in the face of an adversity that smacks of adventure.
Haynes’ paintings should not be dismissed as mere imitation. The Regionalism movement that was at its height in the 1930s was also backward looking. Idealized agricultural scenes did not incorporate the most recent industrial agricultural trends, but focused on traditional, already outdated, methods of working the land. Haynes’ paintings capture the mood and atmosphere of 1930s Regionalists, but disregard realities that clash with the aesthetic to emerge as a modern offshoot.”