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"Most of my paintings begin with a moment of connection with a common object or scene: fundamentally re-viewing something I've seen around me dozens, maybe hundreds of times, and realizing that it has within it the seed of a work of art. These quiet, peaceful, and intimate moments are for me the essence of what it means to be an artist. They also have a direct bearing on the kinds of paintings I make. It's no accident that nearly all of my paintings are still lifes. I suppose they are really attempts to hold and savor these moments of mental and spiritual stillness.
"My work owes an obvious and conscious debt to the great Dutch still life masters of 350 years ago. With every brushstroke, I strive to meet the example they set; in balanced and graceful composition, clear observation, and precise execution. That said, I live and work very much in the present day. Although the influence is usually subtle, the modern sensibility inevitably expresses itself. I take a real delight in discovering the marriage of these two worlds.
"The procedure I follow also mirrors the working methods of the Dutch masters: A detailed drawing is followed by a monochromatic underpainting, and then numerous glazes and scumbles to build deep colors and rich textures. Each painting - even the small ones - may take many weeks from start to finish. The process itself becomes an extended meditation on patience and craft; an echo of the visual calm I seek to evoke.
"For me, the road to becoming an artist was not a direct one, and it took me a number of years to find this calling. My formal education is actually in music; I am an accomplished violinist and was a Ph. D. candidate in composition at a major university. Upon leaving graduate school, I was able to develop my interest in electronic and computer-generated music into a career as a computer programmer. For a decade I worked in this field, ultimately becoming a senior software... Continued at (http://www.jeffhayes.com/personal/info.asp)