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Stroke of Brilliance

by Lynn Matsuoka

Highland Terrace by Grant HaffnerOut in the Hamptons, where artists abound and many are inspired to attempt creation of art in some form, true greatness, pure talent... the compelling image... is nevertheless not always easily found.

When i first saw the clean, crisp, abstract landscapes by Grant Haffner, everything else in the gallery receded to the background.  At first glance, the images seem dead flat, with ribbons of color defining a road curving toward the horizon, thru simple fields of color with telephone poles and their thin lines accentuating the sharp perspective.

But as you enter this world, you sense that it is not flat at all, but rich.  I felt I was on that road, speeding toward the horizon under the endless sky, with the comfort and solitude of the endless fields my companions.  It is almost like Twilight Zone. Standing in front of Haffner's painting, you enter through a portal to a zen-like world of deep silence and a different time.

I asked Mr. Haffner how he arrived at this image that is his constant theme, so much the same yet so different every time. It seems that he has always been fascinated by stripes. His clothing, socks, sheets... all stripes. His shirt this day we talked was striped.  And, his initial training was in math and science which taught him a great work ethic, and no doubt assisted his linear take on his world.  But in 2001, he had had enough of this study and returned home in more ways than one.

He returned to his parent's home to live, and 'home' to where his heart was -  to start painting, something he had wanted to do all along. He actually worked as a certified arborist for awhile, but then returned to school, attending SVA in New York City to study illustration.  On the drive home, he began to develop his vision of the landscape, influenced by the works of Wayne Thiebaud, a connection you can clearly see, as Thiebaud "dissected the landscape into lines and levels".

He was always driving east on his way home, he explained, flying down the road with the sunset behind him, the power lines and roads ahead in that special light.  Then one day, stopping by the side of the road to observe, the moment of catharsis arrived and he saw the image that he is painting today.  

Haffner likes to work small, but is gradually moving to larger canvases, a difficult task as he prepares all his surfaces with great care, taking, he says, all the time he needs.

Canvas Printing

Printing on canvas is incredibly versatile and a great way to create a ready-to-hang image or artwork. Every canvas that we print  is protected with a UV coated acrylic finish to guard the print from dust, moisture and fading. Do you want your canvas stretched on bars or non-stretched? Framed or unframed? Customize the work to make it truly your own.

Art of Photography

Art of PhotographyPhotography is an amazing art form. A photograph album is a catalogue of life's history as seen through the camera. People, animals, nature, holidays, celebrations and even disasters are captured instantly and recorded as part of history. It is through the powerful presentations of photography that we better understand the progression of time and life. Hampton Photo Arts has over twenty years of experience working with photographers as they seek to capture and preserve the history of families and communities.

When families get together, both children and adults love to look through photograph albums. They enjoy seeing the childhood photos of older family members and compare themselves to ancestors who lived a hundred or more years ago. Photos are among the most important treasures of every family. They should not be faded and dull. They contain the smiles, tears and emotions of generations. The staff members at Hampton Photo Arts display excellence in the art of photography reproduction. They work with the highest quality materials. They know how to create family memories that will be just as beautiful one hundred years from now as they are today.

Learning to Paint Watercolors

Watercolor is an easy, fun medium for creating art.  Color theory, composition and design can be explored freely with watercolor paint, paper, and brushes.  Several techniques may be used with watercolors for varying effects including painting wet on wet, wet on dry, layering washes, and more.

Watercolor paper comes in cold press, hot press, and rough.  Rough paper has the most texture, and its hills and valleys can result in interesting effects when paint is added.  Hot press is the smoothest and has the finest texture.  Cold press has a moderate amount of texture and is the paper most commonly chosen by watercolor artists.

Watercolor paper comes in several weights ranging from 90 lb. to 300 lb. based on the pounds per ream of paper.  Most artists prefer to use at least 140 lb. paper.  Papers vary somewhat between manufacturers, so sampling different papers is advisable.  Paper can be purchased in pads, in blocks or in large sheets.  The large sheets are usually the most economical and can be torn into whatever size is desired.

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