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Artist of the Month: William Haskell

When viewing a painting like Thunderhead, a person understands the turmoil of a storm in the plains of a valley. The looming cloud, god-like, sculpture stands over the valley, mountains and a little church threatening fierce winds, rains, thunder, and lightning. In the distance, a wash of rain is soaking the mountains as the grasses blow in the breeze in the foreground. William Haskell’s use of line work in his paintings give them movement and evoke emotion – somehow warm and soft and at the same time foreboding.

Haskell’s color themes run throughout all of his paintings and his technique of using dry brushed watercolors is certainly masterful. I love his manner of stylization through line and shadow, form and color. I could honestly have my home filled with his paintings and still spend hours looking deep into the heart of each of them. They offer calmness and excitement in the same moment. His work is the result of years of prolificness as you’ll see on his website where he has hundreds of works archived.

Here are a few of my favorites, including Thunderhead…

View all of William Haskell’s works on his website, (Scroll down for his bio.)

William Haskell’s Bio:

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 – multiple glazes and layers, using both the tip and the side of the brush to move the paint with less water – I am able to take watercolor and acrylic to a different level by working as translucently or opaquely as needed. Wether it is a dry brush watercolor or an acrylic painting, I archivally varnish the finished painting. This removes the need for glass in the case of watercolor paintings. This allows the user to get closer to the work. I use a museum quality archival varnish specifically designed for these mediums.

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